A variation on the somewhat superannuated subject of the silver cord, in a reasonably discerning portrait of the predatory mother, her practice of selfishness under the illusion of sacrifice. Widowed in her thirties, pretty, protected and fastidious, Helen goes to California with her son, Drake, then 12, is flattered by the courtship of three men, Congreve, rich, elderly, social scion; Bartlett, a professor, pleasant and undemanding; and Henry Moore, an artist, considerably more virile than his competitors, direct and violent. In spite of her reluctance, she has an affair with Moore whose ruthlessness fascinates her, frightens her, and turns her away from the idea of marriage. She settles instead for the lifetime dominance and possession of her son. Feminine market.