Another English rose gets sorely tested by misfortune and nasty relatives but, true to Hylton form (as established in Fragile Heritage, My Sister Clare, and others), weathers the storm still decorously foliated and smelling sweet. She's Lisa Hamiltonand as this book opens, she gets called back to the family home near Lancaster to attend the funeral of dowager Grandmother Marston. Though Lisa's engineer husband, Alexander, is abroad, she makes the tripalbeit with an unquiet heart, since it quickly becomes apparent that the Marston clan loathes her. It seems that when Lisa was just a wee bud growing up on a Kenyan game reserve, her deranged father put an end to the illicit love affair between her mother and Uncle Philip by shooting the pair before turning the pistol on himselfleaving Lisa in the hands of the grandmother who blamed the poor little girl for the whole disaster. To make matters worse, a rivalry developed between quiet, unassuming, musically inclined Lisa and her dangerously beautiful cousin Jessica, who ended Lisa's hopes for a concert career by slamming a piano lid on her fingers. Unaccountably, though, Jessica remained the favorite, and Lisa sealed her own fate inside the family by stealing handsome Alexander from her awful cousin. So it comes as no surprise when Lisa gets shafted in Grandmother Marston's willthough Alexander does show up at the eleventh hour to give his much-abused wife something to lord over Jessica. It's all markedly predictablelargely thanks to Lisa's willing acceptance of victimization and tiresome goodness, character traits that combine to make her a thornless rose, and thus an unnatural, uncompelling heroine.