A first novel, by a very young writer, this has many talents which include a classical severity, a suggestive sense of time and place, and a cumulative intensity. From childhood on, Elizabeth had been dominated by the remembrance of Laurel, her grandmother's declining plantation home which her mother-Lily-had given up to marry Cyril, a brilliant lawyer of farmer stock. Lily's inability to forget Laurel and its proud traditions had ruined her marriage, and Cyril, and the image is again projected in her children, Elizabeth whom she identifies with Cyril, Parry whom she aligns with Laurel. Always thwarted in her attempt to win her mother's affection- away from Parry, hostile toward her father, Elizabeth is only conscious of her humiliations, goes out with Aubrey-who is in love with her- inmuch as he offers her the background her mother had lost. And although Aubrey shows her that her ambitions are for a dead, invalid world, Elizabeth bypasses his love in the hope of securing Laurel for herself, at the close is left with nothing... For more discriminating readers, this is haunting, holding.