Layers of mystery. . . Who is the woman behind the desk who is drawing out Winston Carmichael's memories of this family saga? Who, really, is the thirty-odd-year-old woman who shows up one day in 1952 claiming to be half-sister Caroline kidnapped seventeen years before? Why is Dad so ready to accept her story and reinstate her as heir to her mother's fortune? But questions of identity become moot as the new Caroline helps Winston escape from the psychological prison of the Carmichaels' Pittsburgh mansion, and as she studies Special Education in order to find a way to free Heidi, the ten-year-old "gollywog" sister whose handicap has been exacerbated but never acknowledged by her society mother. In the process of investigating Caroline's real past, the now grownup children present us, simultaneously, with an impostor and a saint. Pittsburgh coffee shops, department stores, and neighborhoods are fondly documented while the Carmichaels assume an air of benign enigma that is, truly, arcane. Docile readers may be able to get inside the emotional fog that surrounds them--indeed, to believe that money played no part in Caroline's motives. For them, there will be a certain hermetic appeal; otherwise this is a mark-time exercise in a minor key.