A novel, the story of a waif, Irina, who becomes a pupil at the Conservatory and then a composer. She marries a young engineer whose aristocratic bearing and cultured background arouses the resentment of his closest friend. This resentment is accentuated when the friend falls in love with Irina, and finally culminates in the murder of her husband. The purpose of the book is to show the twofold motivation of this crime, the material and ideological causes. An interesting if unimportant story, perhaps most significant in that it reveals the existence of ""class hate"" in the new Soviet generation.