There was a time when Adela Rogers St. John had a certifiable readership but one wonders how many of them are still around? Then there's the fact that this is a NEW Adela Rogers St. John who seems to have forgotten that she has a story to tell even though she never stops talking. There are the usual lavish touches, sable and Sevres, when the story opens in Chicago. Everything is ""tres moderne."" So is her young Couple, Mellie and Hank Gavin. A happy couple until, after the suicide of a close friend and under the influence of Salinger (the Jesus people message), Hank' gets religion and has a crise. So does the marriage. But Mellie sticks with him and follows him to Beach City, California, a honkytonk town where Hank, now a minister, tries to restore religion. He gives a blazingly spectacular ""Follow Me"" sermon, opposes the local operator, a godless type, and is involved in the Romeo and Juliet affair of his teenage daughter with a local have-not... It's all right-- but there's endless exegesis--from the Testaments and the new prophets-- Teilhard de Chardin and Schweitzer and the Classes and- and- and- one could wish that the writer had on occasion exercised the discipline of silence.