A skilled and telling picture of France after the defeat, from the return of the soldiers who never got their chance to fight, to the slow imposition of Fascism and the concomitant humiliations and deprivations, the ever-present sense of fear and resentment, shame and failure. All this is reflected in the diary of Phyl, an American living in the mountain village of Pontcharra. Her love for an Austrian skier who joined the Foreign Legion to escape a concentration camp, but whose love for freedom seems to be lip service instead of actuality. Phyl finds him out and breaks with him. Much less brittle than her earlier books, it seems genuinely experienced, tensed and moving portrait of France today, drawn by an accomplished stylist. But it is not going to be an easy book to sell. Her market is sharply defined and rather limited.