It is hard to believe that the author of The Bridge Over the River has written this sentimental story of Communist guerrillas vs. French colonials on a rubber plantation in Malaya. The weakness lies not in the atmosphere, which is convincing, but in the people. The most unbelievable character -- and the one that strikes the dominant note that ""love conquers all"" is Patricia, the American wife of the French manager. Convinced that ""love"" will do more than force in healing the breach, Patricia secretly conceals the wounded partisan woman soldier, brings her back to health, teaches her French, dresses her extravagantly, gives her jewels for herself and food and clothes for her family, and tries to teach her the Christian ethic. The measure of success lies in the transfer of everything transferable to the partisans by night-along with all the spy in their midst can wangle from her benefactors. Meantime, fear for his love persuades the head of the Communist unit to substitute sabotage and ridicule for violence. And gets- in counterpoint- the identical explanations, rationalizations and alibis relayed to the chiefs for success or failure of the struggle for control. There's a cynical undertone here, which alone redeems the unbelievable story; and a cynical windup, too, when the American Patricia is taken prisoner, and the Communist Ling elopes with the French manager to France.