This is a beautifully crafted book. Phillip Carver is summonned back to Memphis by his sisters after their father becomes romantically involved with a new partner following the death of their mother. From this premise unfolds a complex tale of Memphis culture and family politics. The family had moved in the children's teen years from Nashville, in the Upper South, to Memphis, in the Deep South in the years just before WWII. The move leaves scars on each of the family members, except perhaps father George, and it reverberates through the family's interactions for years to come. Peter Taylor narrates through a maturing Phillip, who has long since left the family nest for the military and then a literary career in New York. His cultural and temporal distance from the family allows him to observe the family with more perspective and a degree of emotional distance unavailable to the daughters and father who had remained in Memphis together in the intervening years. The novel explores the capacity of adult children to grow to new understandings of themselves, their families, and their history with increased maturity and the changing relationships that come with the aging of parents. The language is beautiful, and the characterization is achieved with great skill. The book deserves the Pulitzer for it's marvelous capturing, as well, of a slice of the Southern culture of the period.