Vercel herewith combines characterization with an exciting story -- lifting this novel out of the class of good melodrama, still retaining as colorful a setting as previously. Financially stripped by the depression, a young man takes a position as guide in the cathedral town of Mont St. Michel, isolated for the major part of the year by the water and the quicksand marshes. His wife, a hard and self-centered shrew reluctantly accompanies him -- refusing to meet him on any terms unless he leave there shortly afterwards. His conflict between his deep-rooted love for his wife and the new-found mystical beauty and power of the cathedral form the interest of the book -- to which there is added a great deal of physical action -- when he is held prisoner by the tide -- or betrayed by the quicksand. Vivid and penetrating.