Formfitting theatrics in the story of the Dows, a Maine family of the late 1860's. Captain Caleb's sublime confidence is haunted by having his pursestrings held by a French mother; Delight, his wife, has learned how to handle her dominating, cocksure husband; John, his son, desperately tries to get away from the sea, and young Mandy is not quite ready for love. When Caleb refuses to break off the marriage between Mandy and his First Mate, Merrifield, Delight turns against him, and it is a long time before Caleb learns that Merrifield's sadism on his wedding night has shocked Mandy into insanity. Delight's friendship with a doctor, trying to cure Mandy, breeds gossip; John learns to love the sea and finds romance with a French girl; and it is Caleb who melodramatically accomplishe Mandy's return to reason. A first novel of men of the sea and women at home, this is at times dramatic, at other times too well stocked with all the ingredients of the fiction cabinet. Above par on rentals- though.