Here are 287 pages in search of a plot. At an almost dizzying pace, British author Prince crosscuts from one character to another, all of whom are tenuously interconnected. The two who pop up most frequently are dramatic, irreverent Fannie who sees the neighborhood student playhouse as her refuge from repressive Critchlowe School for Girls; and Fannie's best friend, dreamy and introspective Bobbie who sees the warehouse home of a bunch of Jesus freaks as her possible refuge from a boozing mother and preoccupied businessman dad. A lot happens in these six days: Bobbie's father dies after an automobile accident; a Critchlowe teacher lands in the hospital after a gas meter explodes in her bathroom; Bobbie spends a disillusioning day with the Bible-quoting ""Brethren""; Fannie gives up her schoolgirl crush on the middle-aged director of the playhouse; Bobbie's mother makes one abortive attempt after another to give up the bottle. The trouble is that there's no focus to the events, and although this may be in keeping with Prince's message that life basically is messy and unmanageable, it's wearing on readers and makes the potential popularity of The Doubting Kind seem kind of dubious.