An inconclusive novel which concerns itself with adolescence and a father-son relationship, this sprawls from Wales to English suburbia in realistic, though often obscure, manner. Zion Terrace is roused to much gossip and rumor by the death of Mrs. Rice, and when her husband, Alec, after sending the boy Philip to his uncle, Adrian, a master baker in Wales, vanishes, the tempest continues. Philip hears the real truth about himself from his uncle; the dead woman was Alec's second wife; Philip is to meet his real mother but finds out, in unhappy shock, that she is dead; he fails to reach his father. Alec, in running off, finds Doll, a brassy, honest barmaid, and through his interference in her life they are both set adrift until news of Philip's collapse forces Alec to come to Wales. There it is Philip who wins out and Doll is sent away. Philip is left with his loyalty to his Father, no memories of his dead mother and a sense of justice to his dead step-mother. With an opening chapter setting a scene that is never fulfilled, this does not coalesce into a well-contrived whole, although there are some incidents, scenes and sections that have force and fascination.