Elegantly written, on the whole, but puzzling in its intentions, this novel deals with a Cardinal who is held prisoner in the American Embassy in Hungary in 1976. At this time, supposedly, all the world except America is Communist. The Cardinal represents a dream of freedom and faith to many people: ome Hungarians; the empty-headed wife of the Ambassador; and in particular to a ying American who wishes to be buried in the Cardinal's place, giving the Cardinal a chance to escape in his identity to America. After many dialogues about belief, both men die simultaneously... There is a good deal of absorbing writing, and some curious projections into the future, but the end effect, as is much of the actual story, seems indecisive. Perhaps because the author is dealing, more ambitiously, with abstractions which were not part of her earlier books which had their venue in intense, personal experience.