A scenic, sustained, eight or ten-ply novel about an ingrown little community in Cape Haze, Florida, where all these people who at one point or other had once been busier (as writers, painters, parents) are now on the beach leading a subdued version of the lush life. A few of them have already been touched by tragedy and after the third drink or so you'll hear about it. Carrie and Bix Sommers, married only a short time, move down there and are given a proprietary (predatory?) welcome by Mary and Dan Murchison. Carrie is from Maine and straighter-backed to begin with; Bix is Southern and too rich to get with his ambition to be an artist. While Mary takes care of Dan's interest in younger women like Carrie who senses how wrong the whole scene is and tries to back away from it. Mrs. Deal is as always a very practised writer and invests her story -- a very good example of better class middle fiction -- with qualities of encroachment and surprise which are sure to keep her readers on the sympathetic side of attention.