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When President Aluwawa purges his country of foreign helpers Daniel Kerr, a micro-biologist, returns to Yeominster, feeling displaced and dispossessed. Yet he has a family there. His wife, Erica, more used to his absence than his presence, and two children, Emma and Giles.

But family togetherness is short-lived, for Daniel has a gift for disruption, and it is a relief when he is posted to a research unit at Brocklehurst. But Brocklehurst is not his scene and he resigns on grounds of conscience, thus providing the press with a new sensation. Finding a job teaching at his son's school, he becomes entangled in a controversy over a bypass, and when the Yeominster Conservation Society fails in its object, the schoolboy revolutionaries take over traffic control and for one memorable day the life of Yeominster is turned upside down.

In a manner which is thoughtful, lucid and humorous, Mary Hocking relates personal problems and private causes to social problems and public causes, neither easily coped with, or avoided.

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