A successor to The Side of the Angels is a steamy southern landscape, Harrelton, Louisiana, to which Clay Duclos returns after seven years with the Jesuits. However, after studying Zen and experiencing satori, he leaves the Church for his home town where Four O'Clock Curtis, only ""statistically a country girl,"" completes his release from the spiritual life. Harrelton, while a backwater, is anything but sleepy. Clay takes an interest in the high incidence of illegitimacy among the Negro squatters, stirs up racist threats; poverty prompts a poor, halfwitted woman to steal for her children, and when caught, to kill which results in an angry trial; then there's Clay's sister Jane, whose marriage is threatened when a cancer operation almost destroys her will as well as her voice. And there's a final illumination for Clay- that of a ""transporting love"" which leads him to find and marry Four O'Clock, already carrying his child.... In spite of some higher sounding talk on pride, intellectual, social, etc. and love as its rebuttal, this is actually a novel charged by more obvious combustible materials which will set off a chain reaction -- paperbacks to possible film. It travels.