Novelist Mercer should be jailed for desertion of plot...Judson Lathrop, a proper new Englander facing middle-age, returns from Africa with a Belgian mistress. He'd been on a fact-finding mission for the President who now wants him for a high State Department post in Africa. Rumor reaches the President, though, that Lathrop's daughter Anne wants to marry a Negro. Lathrop's wife Marilyn tells him No Divorce, she'd rather Fight for Him. Lathrop's first weekend home is spent fighting his wife, comforting his mistress, speaking irresolutely with his daughter and her suitor, and pondering the effects of Anne's marriage and his divorce upon his future in the State Department. In the background is the ghost of his slave-trader great-great-grandfather, who once drowned four hundred slaves rather than be captured with them aboard his ship. Grandfather's guilty deeds are now being expiated by Lathrop and Anne... At novel's climax the author fudges on the issues, rings in a meaningless death in the family that results in no divorce, no marriage, no mistress and nothing faced squarely.