"It can be sad, the sun in the afternoon"--the afternoon of a woman of forty-odd who is one of those perpetual transients, living, or really half-living, in London or Paris, shifting from the uneasy retreat to the uncertain possibility, moving from shabby hotel rooms to second class cafes--a Cinzano here, a fine there. Memories (of a scruffy cat she chased to its death; of the too quiet baby she had alone who died) collect like fluffs of dust under the bed; but there are alternatives--she might dye her hair or kill herself, next month. Now, returning to the Paris she once had known under no really happier circumstances, she has random encounters--with one or two Russian emigres, with the man with the lustful eyes she avoids in the hotel, with her "gigolo," a young man escaped from the Foreign Legion who gives her a night of love--hardly--and takes her for a thousand francs. . . . Miss Rhys has always attracted a certain minor cult in England; this mono-montage, originally written in 1939, is to a degree reminiscent of Voyage in the Dark (republished here in 1968) hut it is a much stronger book. Not a word seems out of place although transposed to a time which has seen so many other changes. Perhaps because Jean Rhys is both a supple and fastidious writer who can thread momentary but timeless recognitions through the eye of a needle, however dim the margins of experience with which she deals. Flawlessly.