A leisurely, tepidly ingratiating British novel about old Billy Ashted, seventy-six, retired and dependent on the obtuse and condescending care of his son and daughter-in-law. Billy sits down to write his autobiography, not to pass the days away, but to learn how and why he never achieved success or fame or fortune. His reminiscences provide a picture of the social, political and economic changes in Britain over the past three quarters of a century. Pleasant and as warming as a cup of hot tea by a modest fire, the novel is just about as stimulating. Billy's life contained no prominent drama, no danger and no real crisis, or so it would seem as he reviews it. Well written, intelligent, and worthwhile for a conservative, ruminative audience who will enjoy its quiet tempo and even temper.