Judy Scaife was headed for a complex life from birth. Her father was a wastrel and a scoundrel; her mother mattered very little in her life; and the men who loved her and lusted for her were many- and each of them took from Judy more than they gave. Judy had staunch friends:- Doc Buckle, who brought her into the world, and who gave her a job to help steady things for her; Trillium, Spanish Quaker, and a shadowy sort of figure throughout Judy's story. But Judy didn't quite fit into the Massachusetts seaside town- ""50 miles from Providence, 50 miles from Boston"" --and she knew it, though she always hoped. Somehow, instead of things coming out right for her, something always went wrong. Sometimes it was Judy's impetuous giving of herself. Sometimes her drunken father made a fool of himself. Sometimes fate took a hand, as when Costigan, the one of her men who meant most in her life, fell in the Pacific War. At the end, Judy goes to California with Johnny Palmer, ex-filer -- another long gamble with life. A strange, twisted sort of story- not at all ""a simple book for simple people"" as publicized. Unpleasant, sordid, lusty, the life and loves of Judy Scaife.