Alice Chase, once a Londoner and now, in 1939, the wife of Walter, a saw mill worker in Somerset, contends with the lives and careers of her three older children as well as her three-year-old son, Bobby, and her London friend, Tilly. Alice also supports and is supported by her sister-in-law, Helen, wife of Walter’s brother, Mick, who was also enamoured of Alice in her youth. The question in Alice’s mind is whether or not there is still an attraction between her and Mick. When Tilly comes to Somerset to stay, some old and new dilemmas arise. Unfortunately, the dilemma of the Mick/Alice attraction (or not) crops up on every second page and seems to go pretty much nowhere. By the end of the book, there is no resolution. Mind you, given the choice between a cardboard cut-out husband and his equally flat brother, it is a wonder that Alice could even be bothered wondering about her choice. Add to that a plodding narrative and stilted, banal dialogue that is squirm-inducing, it is a wonder that Alice is still awake at the end of it all. And did women in 1939 talk about having a “mothering moment”? There is probably a sequel in the offing, so this book is best left for the stout-hearted saga reader.