This is more like listening in on a conversation, held between true philosophers, analysts, than it is straight novel. Charles Morgan cannot resist the temptation to talk through his characters, and -- in this instance -- it blurs the outlines. Can man be reborn? This is the theme of this short novel of the first year of war in England, a story revolving around a man who had lost his wife under painful circumstances 20 years before the story opens, and who had transferred to his daughter the worship he had concentrated on his wife. The daughter retains her balance and creates her own atmosphere, until successive strange circumstances make her feel that she is losing her identity, in her father's apparent identification of her with her lost mother. Then the mother comes back -- and both mother and daughter find themselves floundering, neither sure of her place. The story is told through a surgeon, billeted on the household, while he serves his country at the post near at hand, and his love for the girl enables him to help her -- and her parents to a new birth.