Robert Liddell is gaining increasing recognition as an important writer and his work is attracting a wide readership in Britain and the United States. Kind Relations is the first novel in a trilogy based on Liddell's own family and experience. The books chronicle English life in the first half of the twentieth century and demonstrate Liddell's uncanny ability to transport the reader into the mind of a child. Set during the First World War, Kind Relations opens with the death of Mrs Faringdon while her husband is away on duty in Cairo. Their two sons, Andrew and Stephen, remain in a provincial town with their nanny and their mother's sisters. But Aunt Emma, who lives in the country, feels the boys would be better off living with her. And so begins a family tug-of-war, with Andrew and Stephen mere pawns in the game. The boys' security is further threatened when their father is remarried to Elsa, a woman of German origin and difficult temperament. Liddell's absorbing tapestry exposes the virulent antagonisms and snobbery that are a part of the fabric of this outwardly sedate, middle-class family.