A difficult book to place, based on the theme of the human search for spiritual sanctuary and peace, through the lives of two girls, Gretchen and Paula. The role of Catholicism in personal salvation is the leitmotif of the book, which perhaps limits its market. It is also an extremely introverted book, somewhat tormented, somewhat obscure. Gretchen is the central figure, brought up with Paula in a Canadian convent, rebellious, questioning, eager. She leaves the convent -- marries an Irishman, a drunkard and weakling, and rejects him. Paula, docile, quiet, after a brief period, returns to the convent and becomes a nun. Gretchen, after the death of her husband, falls in love again -- and after much inner writhing and grimacing -- both turn to the Church before they find happiness together. Intensively psychological and spiritual, this is not a book for everyone -- though it has many marks of the perceptive and skilful writer.