An English first novel with a particular freshness of setting and mood, and which for all its delicacy is also sharply underscored. This tells of Douglas Lockwood, a refugee from a bad marriage and a dull career, who takes a job as a teacher in a progressive school in Jamaica. There he comes up against the muddled, evasive administration of Mr. Pawley, its headmaster, who passes off all awkward situations on his staff; against Mrs. Pawley, distressingly homely and hopefully amorous; and Silvia, their most difficult pupil, whose open hostility is eventually transferred into love for Douglas. There is also Judy, the stewardess Douglas rescues from a plane crash, young, gay, unstable, with whom Douglas falls in love and who believes herself through with the seedy, tubercular Hungarian with whom she has been having an affair. The loss of Judy throws Douglas back at Mrs. Pawley, and this in turn leads more hopelessly to tragedy as Silvia, exposed to an adult situation she tries to ape, suicides... The miscarriage here of romantic, idealistic impulses make this a very holding, saddening story- softened by the appealing likeability of Douglas and his girl.