A new novel after some years in which an indulgent recorder of human weaknesses fuses the tenor of social comedy with a potential of tragedy, this is at once aware, amusing, affecting. In the south of France Barbary, now seventeen, had been allowed to run wild with the maquis during the war, had had little formal education under Helen, her mother, dogage in her regligence, lazily and pleasantly sensual, casual. Sent back to her father, in England, to be civilized, Barbary proves to be an incorrigible gamine, hostile towards her father's new wife, untidy and unmanageable. In the dubious company of young deserters and delinquents, she prowls the streets, steals first from home and then later from shops, is finally hurt when she runs away from the police. Helen, arriving precipitously from France, realizes that Barbary will only be happy with her, uses he charms and later the disagreeable admission of her real paternity to secure her freedom from her former husband.... Deft and delicate, this is for superior, lighter tastes.