Something of a writer's writer, Wescott has always had his critical admirers, and his new publishers have enlisted Michael Cunningham (The Hours, etc.) to introduce this reprint. Back in 1940, when this slim novel first appeared, Kirkus (October 15, 1940, p. 524) noted its lack of "popular" appeal, finding it "elliptic and elusive." "In leisurely, suggestive prose," Kirkus suggested, "Wescott tells a savage story of limited import but great fascination." This tale of the jaded world-wanderers, the Cullens, finds them engaged with their latest bizarre pastime: a falcon hawk, a "symbol" of "the empty relationship of her marriage." As we concluded back then: "Rarified, a little decadent, a little repellent, this is nonetheless beautifully handled."