The author of The Marquis and La Petite is an accomplished writer, and except for some soft spots in the plot, this new novel, which is modern, is a very pleasant entertainment, and one of the few in which a woman makes a male narrator sound convincing. He is Gil Barham who has come to Uppsala, Sweden, to do research and forget his wife Lynne who is divorcing him. Gil's new friends, Quatro- an Italian, and Polly- an American girl, jointly propound the theory that Lynne, a physicist, is also the type of woman known throughout history as a ""witch""--i.e. a shaper of life and people to her will. This theory is not credibly proved out by the story although an attempt is made; Lynne's influence is supposed to break up Gil's affair with a Swedish woman and later shadow his marriage to Polly. Still it is an attractive book, relaxed, funny, oblique, and full of gaiety and sensory realities.