The subject of adolescence is treated to the recall of a mature woman when she uses a sea voyage as the time in which she is to make her decision about, her marriage, herself -- and her husband. A photographer-lecturer, Abby Gregory Brnadon, after violent quarrels with Jim, is on her way to Africa for animal pictures to be used in a book series and empties the cargo of her mind in search of the events that have scarred her life. Traveling backwards in time she comes to the summer spent at Green Leaf Camp, in the North Carolina Smokies, which promised a radiance she had set her heart on and which left her with betrayal, shame and disgrace. Dislike of the chief counselor, the change in her feelings for Mrs. Stephens, the head of the camp, and the fascinated attraction to her daughter, Lisa, start the tarnishing, while a small lie, the unhappiness on a coveted horseback trip and Lisa's treachery -- over a nighttime visit and a ring- complete the frightening effect of the summer, suffered in hurt, pride, ignorance and self love. From Cape Fear to the Cape of Good Hope Abby's voyage brings knowledge of a chance for her future with Jim. The feminine approach here marks it for women readers for whom a sensitizing of emotions has an appeal.