A cleanly adult account of the spiritual reckoning of one John Gilhooley, a successful commercial artist with an El Greco soul who commutes to New York from Wavetrees, Wild Neck, this is thoughtful but not too demanding commuter fare. In the suburban air of Wavetrees, Gil feels smothered by the lives of his neighbors, whose closeness leads him to take spiritual stock. He becomes involved in Lambert Bliss' conversion to Catholicism and Caroline Bliss' resultant despair; he introduces his best friend to a woman whose husband has a mistress and who falls deeply in love for the first time; he feels responsible for the suicide of young Lydia Lowndes -- if only he had talked to her a little longer she might be here... In the city he finds degradation in a brief, impersonal couching with a lonely neighbor and succor in the beating another Irishman gives him after a long drinking bout. Then he can go home to his wife, his neighbors, the canvasses he really wants to paint, a renegade Irishman returned to his world.