This story -- at its start -- bore the earmarks of some of Shella Kaye-Smith's earlier work, but as the tale progressed, it seemed to lose that very special quality of interpretation of England's countryside and country folk. All in all it seems to me an unconvincing story, stock characters, little if any of her artistry. There's a story to tell here, but she falls to come to grips with it. Old ways and new ways are at odds, in the period between the wars. There is an old country squire, charming enough, but more or less conventionalised, who stands for a way of life that is past, while the new and younger generation is most unprepossessing and unsympathetically drawn in the persons of the unscrupulous go-detter granddaughter of the squire and her lover, the unpleasant half-gypsy, half peasant son of the the contractor, rag-and-bone man, who is bending every effort Lyes, even blackmail) be pushing through a cheap building project before the .