Phyllis Bentley has made the West Riding of Yorkshire her province- and the textile mill people her own. So it is no surprise to find that again this provides the background for her nine tales of family life. But two things emerge unexpectedly:- the background is only faintly etched, not integral to her stories; and the stories might better be subtitled ""Nine Tales of Dissension"". For such they are. Masterly in concept, rounded in execution, each is in essence a novella rather than a short story. But each deals with strained relationships within families:- sisters, cousins, brothers, husbands and wives, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters. And in each story is implicit the broader canvas of incidents and characters that have brought about the central situation. Despite the skill of handling, this is not a collection to recommend for pleasant reading, one after the other. The dissension in every one is disruptive to the reader's enjoyment when taken at a gulp.