Edwina Deydier is one of those fictional characters who possesses the qualities one is apt to attribute to fabulous acquaintances, friends or even relatives who somehow obsess, and fascinate, while poisoning the atmosphere around them. It will be this sense of almost perverted identification that carries one long in horrified curiosity as to Edwina's erratic career. Actually it is her story, although told by Sebastian Venables, cartographer, who hovers on the fringe of her modern fashionable world. Their paths cross in the American Middle West, in New England, in Virginia, and finally in a remote and little known Caribbean Island; and always Edwina has seized the main chance, no matter who or what is involved, to seek the spotlight for herself. The denouement will please the reader. And in the process one gets glimpses of the haut monde- the periphery of the intellectual circles and aspirants thereto -- and the personal lives of Sebastian and others caught in Edwina's far-flung net. While not any easier reading than. A View From Pompey's Head, it has its measure of reward in an area of social commentary not often encountered today.