On the small island of Noirmoutier, Father de Luz has two parish problems: his Sexton, Lucque, attacked at the start of the story here; and Madeleine who had fallen in love with a German soldier during the war, later bore his child, and now was branded as a witch as well as a whore. The German's return five years later inflames the villagers further- August Erdmann is taken for the devil although his sensuous love for Madeleine proves to be purer than most of the thoughts of Father de Luz (who loses his mind) and his parishioners. The young family escapes as the sea imposes the final retribution... This is, essentially, a slight story, a simple story of good and evil, streaked with primeval passions; it might be acceptable if the writer did not seem like a son of Lawrence who had never been weaned and he certainly should have been pruned by some editor-- (i.e. ""Unseen, yet haunting the reflections, were other kinships, viler, nobler, as the struggle might carry, the covered duality of two prudish breasts shrunken in desuetude, of the twin gonads of their gender, both reserved: one pair to chastity in vow, the other pair to lust in license""). This is the lamentable literary reality of Legend of Madeleine.