Once again in the story of one family, Mauriac has written with sublety, with sympathy, of the interplay between mundane and spiritual forces, of the pressures exerted by financial and social ruin on the once proud, once prominent Revolu family. With the bankruptcy and suicide of Oscar Revolu, his wife and three children are left to face victimization by their former world. Mme. Revolu gets her release in death; Julien, the eldest, retires to a neurotic, bedridden life; Denis, the youngest, marries a peasant girl. But it is Rose who pays the full premium of disgrace, as her fiance, prepared to go through with his obligations, finds his emotional attraction to her soured by the shabbiness of poverty, eventually defaults... Again a portrait of provincialism, of the destructive power of material motives, for Mauriac's audience which is more markedly French than American.