A difficult subject, this, and Irwin Shaw has chosen to draw it in extreme terms with unrelieved disaster as the answer. The Crowns were humdrum, but generally considered a successful couple, envied by those whose marriages had foundered. Then came a testing period- when Oliver left Lucy and their frail son, Tony, at a Vermont resort, with Bunner, Dartmouth undergraduate, as Tony's mentor and companion. Bunner falls in love with Lucy -- rouses her to a conviction that she is cheated in her marriage -- and Tony stumbles on the raw facts of illicit relationships wholly unprepared. It is Tony who sends for his father; Lucy tries to wriggle out of it by charging Tony with lying- only to have Bunner stumblingly confess. And oliver, always so sure of his rightness, appoints himself judge and jury, taken Lucy' back but exiles Tony- and becomes, himself, insecure, bombastic, cheap. An for Lucy- since it is her story- she writes herself a new role, and seen herself as youth's dream realized. A sorry tale- which has its end, as it has its beginning, in a French bistro. That Shaw has made the pattern of disintegration of three potentially good people credible is witness to his gift as a story teller.