A distinct advance in professional skill over her first novel, Land I Have Chosen -- and once again a story of marriage, in this case, between Veronica, raised in a family to whom the Catholic Church was inspiration and refuge, and a Protestant, Jamie to whose aristocratic blue-blood background, Catholicism in the United States was outside the pale of social acceptance. Ellin Berlin has achieved a rare balance,- while never decrying the faith which was everything to Veronica, while integrating its traditions, its deals, its observances into the very fibre of her story, she yet leaves one with a that in Veronica, the balance of values was weighted against her loyalty to a marriage at times she thought she put first. As a family study,- there again conflicting loyalties inject elements of disunity, and make this quite an extraordinarily penetrating book. The Reardons- ""lace curtain Irish"" -- are a warm-hearted clan; one likes them despite their in-tolerances, likes even their prejudices better than those of the Stairs, to whom the Social Register is the ultimate objective of all right-minded Episcopalians. At times the story interest lags; the book is overlong; the tale is told too soon. But it has a holding quality that keeps one reading, never quite losing hope that Veronica will grow just enough beyond the confines of the protection the Church means to her to admit Jamie into the charmed circle of her ultimate faith. The setting- New York and Long Island; the time spans two wars.