A psychological novel of a mother and son relationship, tortured by the theme of homosexuality in the background. At the moment of realization of a fact feared and avoided, Celia is trying to face the necessity of cutting Evan loose from her, while dreading what might happen if she does. A temporary truce offers itself when an old friend, a writer of some note, offers them asylum in his Italian villa near Sorrento while they are awaiting a ship held up by dock strikes in Genoa. During those days, there's mounting tension, as things seem to be coming to a head. But the crisis takes a different form when their host, instead of proving the strength Celia had hoped for, reveals himself as a further menace to her peace of mind in a drunken moment. The story ends inconclusively with Celia's death and Evan forcibly released. Orace Zaring Stone is not at her best here.