The continuing saga of the fervidly creative Vandevers (first met in Of Time and the Seasons, 1975) has the gossipy complexity but none of the astuteness of this author's Keeping Days duo. Here Bridget, still typed as the only non-artist in the family, watches while, again and again, ""truth hides for the sake of justice."" Mentally retarded Delia, having been raped by neighborhood rowdies, is read out of church for refusing to reveal the name of her baby's father. The family keeps secret the fate of Joshua, who deserted the Union army. Mother Celia's identity as the political essayist Martin St. James is protected by the gallant lies of her former sweetheart, Lord Pagford. And Bridget neglects her loyal boyfriend Chi for clandestine afternoon teas with the aging actor, O., who teaches her Shakespeare and fires her dramatic ambitions. Bridget's notion of ""justice"" is family-centered and often closer to simple adolescent smugness, and for every reader vicariously stimulated by the Vandever's educational Sunday teas and intellectual exchanges, there'll be another who finds them stifling. As for the title, let's just say it's all too accurate.