Here is the Harper Prize Novel -- as intensely and absorbingly interesting book which has debatable elements for popularity. Those who like it -- as I do -- will like it enormously. Will accept the sometimes awkward frame of analysis in which it is set. Will feel that -- in its way -- it makes up as important a contribution today as Lewisehs's The Island Within did in its day. For here again is the story of a Jew who finds himself, but this time a Jew who, brought up in a sordid unlovely background of surface acceptance of Judaism, has tried to escape it and has lived in the fear and insecurity of false solors. It is a story too of the ""wastelands"" of many lives, -- in this instance members of Jake's family, -- the father he has always hated; the mother for whom he has felt grudging responsibility and pity; the older sister whose own wretched married life is something he has closed his eyes to; the brother, now successful, new a failure; the second sister whom he takes for granted is just a step above a prostitute; the younger sister who has shouldered the challenge her brother refused, and has been driven into the tragedy of Lesbianism. It is this sister, Debby, who saves them all, for in her own desperate need, she had found a psychiatrist who was wise and understanding. And it is Jake's process of bringing up from his subsonssious the whole murky pattern of his relations with his family, set in his analysis, that provides the pieces which fit into the whole of his story, a story rooted in the need for security of a Jew in his Jewishness....The author has attempted a difficult task- and made the result a challenge to face other ""wastelands"".