Rica Favor returns to her family home in Big Bend country, where her brother Saul, who ""was born torturing and never stopped,"" has summoned her. He has use for her: to take up with conservative legislator Chris Raekel in return for a desired appointment. His screw: Uncle, who lives a pure pastoral life on the Meadow Saul wants to sell. Rica has her own ghosts and hangups (a lover turned homosexual in Houston, a vision of herself as the Gorgon, devourer of men), but Chris turns out to be more than an assignment. Through helping his retarded daughter Kathy she finds she can be constructive, with Chris she works through to being able to take as well as pay out. The death-oriented Saul meets ""nature's justice""--crashes when shooting eagles, releasing Rica. Jeanne Williams writes some good straight scenes, mulches her story, like her burdened heroine, with psycho-philosophy. Toward the end purple pathology has its day, (Saul wants Rica). Like its heroine, a bit abused, but with some endurance.