A rather sketchy novel skims the years from the first World War to the second, from the birth of Piers- the third child of an economically advantageous, emotionally unsatisfying marriage, to the Spanish Civil War and after. His mother, who has lost her husband, and to an extent her first two children, to their French Mademoiselle, will concentrate all her love on Piers who grows up to be a dreamy, abstract, sensitive young man. On the way to Balliol, he falls in love with Clare a Catholic girl; together they have an affair- but Clare refused to marry him feeling that he will devaluate her faith if she permits the sacrament of marriage to cover their carnal sin. Piers volunteers in Spain, still suffers from his spiritual restlessness and lack of commitment, until he becomes a Catholic and enters the priesthood. When he meets Clare again- during the war- he is aware that her unhappiness is now greater than his- but that their faith- while not a substitute for their love- will compensate.... The author writes pleasantly, if rather faintly, so that her young romance, and its denial, is never very clear or urgent. For a loyal Catholic market.