A novel about an abrupt and brief breakdown features two worlds that each combine nightmare and humor. First there is the cold, pushing domain of Mr. Marcus the dress retailer, whose right-hand woman, dubbed Brimstone, turns Sheena into a like image, driving in her turn until her husband insists she give notice. Then there is the hospital, where Sheena is nicknamed Rubber Ball by her inmate friends (she thinks she has turned to rubber and bounced away) who in their varied ways -- Violetta with her good-hearted humor that goes violent, Mary Magdalene with her soothing spiritual message -- help her in a universe bounded by the ward. It is only after treatment from which she wakes up well that she knows herself and the man who has lovingly come to see her every visiting day, her John. Without side in its approach to the spiral of confusion, gaining its humor from the lusty swirl as life goes on, its realism from reporting on what comes to hand from whatever view, this proceeds forthrightly to a clipped conclusion with Sheena speedily released upon recovering her identity, as her erstwhile companions wave her goodbye.