First Published in 1961 by Michael Joseph Ltd.
In these twelve stories H. E. Bates ranges from Polynesia to the Northamptonshire countryside for his settings, and almost as widely over human emotions for his themes. A dominant note is quiet nostalgia - the search for romance, the closing in of the the middle age. But there is humour too: sometimes obvious, sometimes just below the surface. Plot descriptions give little idea of the scope or the subtlety of these stories; it is the solidity which H. E. Bates gives to simple incidents that makes them so memorable. In Lost Ball a man searches for a lost golf ball at sunset, and is helped by a girl; in The Snow Line a small-town shopkeeper throws off routine for the hoped-for exhilaration of the Swiss Alps; while the title story follows sympathetically the disturbed feelings of a middle-aged tradeswoman drawn into the bohemian life of one of her customers.
"He is the master of the short story. Not only does he enter, gently and compassionately,
into the lives of his characters. but he is as much of an old hand as ever at the meticulously