By the author of several novels of the St. Malo, Mont-St.-Michel coastal country, this again combines considerable atmospheric pressure with a story of concentrated emotional tension. This time it concerns Francoise, who a year after the death of her husband- Luc, learns that he had been insane as well as weak. In the medieval, morbid home of Luc's mother, the dominating, indomitable Mme. la Hourie, Luc's memory is preserved and Mme, becomes increasingly convinced that Luc will return. Obsessive- to the point of madness, she thwarts Francoise' love affair with an engineer, eventually drives her away to Pludual, a neighbor, living in the memory of a dead sister, whose withdrawal from the world she now understands and hopes to divert. Effective, often affecting, but Vercel is not for a general American audience.