With this new volume (including three more of the French edition, in translation), the Pasquier cycle is brought down to 1914. Duhamel's tempered realism, penetrating interpretation and differentiation of the Pasquiers and the world they represent, makes this one of today's outstanding works. The center of the stage in this volume is held by Laurent, the scientist, and Cecile, the pianist. Part one is more intellectual than emotional, epistolary in form; the second part is lyrical, poetic, recounting the break-up of Cecile's marriage, her return to the church, and her music; the third is Laurent's story, his battle against the ""cowardice of men, the great, intangible shadows"" as he attacks the stranglehold of politics over science. A distinguished piece of work, but not destined for an immediate and wide popularity.