Daily papers carry headlines of the bombing of Barcelona. Each new story has taken on a greater human meaning for me since I read Ordeal. And that is not because Ordeal is a story of Barcelona, or even of Spain, nor because it is a dramatic picture of world shattering events. But simply because it is an intensely human and intimate picture of what might be going on in any town under bombardment today, in the experiences of a small middle class family which has no quarrel with anyone, but which is victimized with the rest of the civilian population. It is singularly objective, unemotional and unsensational in the telling. The setting is Southampton, England. Death by bombs from invisible enemies seems less awful than the cutting off of all the amenities of civilization, the safeties we assume, the results in cholera, typhoid, starvation for children, ignorance of what is happening. A trick book -- by the author of Kindling. Heavy publisher backing -- and worth it, as it may just catch the public imagination.