Cyril Derfey's joyless time after the death of his identical twin, Cecil, as he traces and retraces the course of their loneliness and the shame of their oneness, leads him through their whole life story. Here are the antagonisms of their late teens and their separation by the war, Cecil's unreal and framed life in the psycho wards, and his gradual adjustment to the civilian world, his coming marriage and the remodeling of his new home which cost him his life. Then back to their birth and the strangeness of their intensified and heightened physical and mental companionship which drove their mother to move from town to town, on to their growing awareness of their double personality and their attempts to be free of each other. This culminates in Cy's tormented sense of submerged guilt which drives him to seek release from their interdependence. It is through the help of undemanding, loyal Kate, and warmly loving Grace and her understanding brother Phil that Cy's near-dementia is resolved. A fascinating area of identification and psychic communion, this pursues the loosening of involuntary bonds with compassion and heartache.