This is an expression of mood, an exploration of rather precarious emotion, an indulgence in retrospective memory, rather than a novel. Mrs. Danforth, planning a Christmas tree for her grandson, looks back on the world of her childhood, the cushioning of privilege and protection, the prevalence of elegance and decorum. From that milieu, to the marriage which was loveless and lonely, and the birth of her only son, Larry, whom she was to idolize, indulge and for whom she assumes the guilt of his later homosexuality. The failure of Larry's marriage to Anne, his continued relationships with younger men which never delete his bondage to her, all reaches its crisis at the Christmas tree when Larry comes home, confronts Anne's new husband, and kills him... The author's Do I Wake or Sleep commanded considerable critical attention in 1947. This- in its stylized, psychologically preoccupied portrayal of emotional cause and effect, is again for a special market.