A first novel, which is also a knowing portrait of a boy, and of the awkwardness of adolescence, the restlessness, the constraint. Johnny Truro is seventeen, and the war- in which his older brothers have a part, adds to his sense of impotence. Sensitive, with an idealism which can't quite take the vulgar sexual initiations of the other high school Joes, Johnny holds off until he meets Helen, who is 31. Her husband is overseas, and she is thrown closely with Johnny as she helps him with his painting. They fall in love, sleep together, and under Helen's tutelage. Johnny's picture is accepted for an exhibit in New York. Their love has to take not only their awareness of the disparity in their years, but the talk of the town, ranging from the crude kidding of the boys to Johnny's father's cold condemnation. Helen's husband, unaware of their relationship, comes home on leave, and is killed shortly after his return. Then Helen, facing the realisation that Johnny must have freedom from her, gives him up.... Contemporary, convincing- (but definitely for Public Library private inspection rather than open shelves).