This is the kind of metawhimsy Robert Nathan might have written taking place in the sweet by-and-by but always fettered to the past and sometimes commuting imperceptibly between them on the same meridian. Who is Rachel and where is she? Is she Rachel Abbott, a gift of about seventeen, going to stay with her parents and her sister and brother in the house of her Aunt Emily who has disappeared? Or is she Rachel Keeley, a woman of 52, wife of Peter, not the Peter she had known as Rachel Abbott, not the daughter of the same father since different versions of the past keep encroaching on a still more evasive present. Nobler thoughts of Saint Augustine and Bergson do not give this quite the dimension the author might have liked to achieve -- it's a kind of daydreamy deja vu, pretty-prettified besides.