A book of introspective portraiture rather than a novel of action -- this is the almost slow-motion story of the development of Lewis Eliot, barrister of the Temple. From a heed in childhood, sooented by a dominating and possessive and ambitious mother, limited by a father who was a perpetual failure, Eliot knew early the line he must take- and had the wit to turn down successive chances at easier ways out. Sensitive to the point of being almost psychopathic when it concerned his relationship with the oddly ill-adjusted Sheila, he was willing to take slights, hurts, delays when his professional aspirations were concerned. He rods over almost insuperable hurdles; he used those aids his friends could give him, without always giving payment in kind. He was not always admirable nor even likable. But he became a rising young barrister, in the '20's -- a failure only in his human relations. A portrait of the times -- highlighted rather than rounded canvas -- this story leaves an odd impression of detachment, emotionally-an almost coldly analytical dissection. Better written than the average modern novel -- it yet fails to capture the heart of the reader. The link with its predecessor, The Light and the Dark is in the person of Lewis Eliot, narrator in that novel of a period just beyond that encompassed in Time of Hope. Not for a wide market.