A first novel about a gay woman's sexual awakening that is like a landscape at dusk: cryptic and alluring at first but finally so dim that form and feature vanish. Franny is a New Jersey girl, 23, a virgin and something of a voyeur when she first meets the great love of her life, Claire. Franny is deeply and mysteriously attracted, but shy: she spends the next month listening through Claim's apartment door to what sound like wild and happy sexual cries but are really whale songs--which sums up their whole affair. Soon Franny moves in and the trouble begins--Franny, once initiated, wants more sex (as an affirmation of the ""goddess"" within her) than Claire does; and eventually Franny's jealousy and spying cause Claire to flee to Hawaii to become a Buddhist nun. Well, if Claire can be spiritual, so can Franny: she moves to a hermit's cabin on the Oregon coast, where she tries to commit suicide (but instead permanently mauls her leg) when she learns that Claire is being a ""goddess"" with some of the other nuns. Then she gives up spirituality: she moves on to sunny Santa Fe and into the warm, comforting arms of a middle-aged gay lover. When Claire shows up on her doorstep, Franny doesn't take her in--evidently, she's stopped pining for what (carnally) she was denied earlier. An apparent attempt to portray the emotional and spiritual journey of a gay woman here; but clotted prose impedes the smooth development of plot, and murky characters become theological abstracts. Unrewarding at best.