A novel which derives from experience and forms a strict transcript of a ward in a veterans' hospital where a group of badly burned men find an oasis from the outside world. Here is the full tragedy of mutilation which is not only physical, the horror and the pity it , the knowledge that the protective security of the hospital is limited. For Walter, who is the first to go out, there is an orientation which excludes the past and his two closest friends in marriage and a job. For Ray, on leave between operations, there is a visit to Donna who had always wanted to marry him, but it is his inability to love, rather than his facelessness, which alienates her. And for Karl, there is a lonely interlude in New York, a contact only with a prostitute, for whom the return to the hospital in a reassuring one... A first novel which does not the physical horror of disfigurement but which exercises a certain restraint.