A first novel which achieves a rather morose mark of distinction, and against the lonely, inbred background of coastal Maine, contrasts a story of New England puritanism and primeval forces. Eliza Wall, in whom prurience had been sternly established in childhood by her father, falls in love with one-eyed, sullen, silent violent Claw Moreau, of shiftless French-Canadian stock. In spite of guilt and gossip, Eliza continues to meet Claw, and when town and family hostilities reach a climax, she runs away with him. Both return-Eliza to go away for a time until the scandal subsides, while Claw, in revenge, manages an abusive relationship with her younger sister....Heavy with a hell-bent emotionalism which affects Claw- and Eliza- most peculiarly at times, this is ambitious rather than persuasive. Limited appeal.