A strange book, and one wonders why any American publisher felt any desire to have it, translated (from the Dutch?) for publication here. It is the story of a weird household, virtually ostracized in the community, whose relations to each other never come wholly clear. There is the Old Lady, mother of Ana, whose father is rather mysteriously dead, and of Yannie, a 19-year old who is physically mature but whose mind is that of a child. His father, it is assumed, is Peter, who also lives there and who had lain with the Old Lady from the time he came to work for her man. Then there is Jules, who serves-inadequately- as conscience for them all, a religious fanatic who takes their spiritual welfare seriously. Ana and Yannie are suspected of having relations with each other, a form of perversion not countenanced at any level. And Jim Bannock, an American soldier, who desires Ana, charges her with this when she refuses him. And a village tart who desires Yannie flaunts it before the village, so that Yannie shoots up her windows to frighten her. At the end- when the American and his sergeant go duck hunting with Peter and Yannie, Yannie is killed- and the story ends with Jules and Peter preparing to bury him secretly. The story- if it can be called that- is told in segments by the principals, and the reader fits the pieces into places. But- to what end? I found it unpalatable- and frankly dull.