"Mr Knight smiled to himself. Five hundred a year! And they sat down with it, these men. They put up with it. And the world was full of money. They never even put out a hand towards it. Poor chaps, they'd no guts or no wits, he didn't know which it was. Mr Knight pulled down his waistcoat and settled himself more comfortably in his comfortable seat."
Oh the delight of a Dorothy Whipple novel! As cosy as a rainy Saturday afternoon spent watching a nostalgic film cuddled up in your favourite comfy sweater.
The Blakes are a typical family with the usual concerns about making ends meet. Their three children are on the verge of adulthood and have their own ideas about the future. Freda is a snob, Douglas lives to create science experiments and Ruth is a bit of a mess but does has an affection for writing. There is also Uncle Edward who embarrasses the family with his inability to hold down a job due to problems with alcohol and laziness.
Poor Thomas Blake works day in and day out to earn enough money to provide for everyone, even his mother who hates to say thank you. Things could have been so different if his father had been a better businessman but now Thomas is 'a servant where he should have been master'.