In a town (supposedly Provincetown) on the Cape, a group of people of musical interests arrive for a little summer activity -- partly out of habit and partly in hope of confronting some circumstance that will alter their lives. Lisa Towers, a singer, is returning for her seventh summer of cabaret mediocrity and romantic disappointment. Henry Martenson, an aging homosexual composer, is to teach summer school and perhaps locate some new love interests. Otto Sonnenfeld is refugee conductor attempting to revive a slumping career and a leftover life. Alfred Weinstock is a promising young composer whose work is to be performed by onnenfeld. Lisa has an unfortunate run-in with her ex-husband who has been scourging himself since turning informer during the witch-hunt. For her, it turns out to be just the usual summer, sparked by a dalliance with a neurotic analyst and, for contrast, an earthy affair with the town cop. As Sonnenfeld renews himself, Henry Hartenson finds that his musical talent has withered away. He manages however, to make a startling impression on innocent Alfred when he tries to make love to him. These are the tourists. Thrown in for local color is 71-year-old Ella May Coke who was devoted herself to keeping her deranged sister in the attic for 17 years. These creatures are so dreary that the question of their corruption is only superfluous. As a further imposition readers are then asked to take seriously a ""search for meaning"" which confines itself to a setting of hackneyed moral decadence.