The forthright honesty of Joy Cowley's First hook a few years back is now coated with sentimentality and weepy words from the first page when Elizabeth returns from a hospital having attempted to cut her wrists following the death of her brother-lover Harvey (shot down by the police). Home is a close, false world of indulgence and thin hostility and Elizabeth leaves it whenever she can to go back to the apartment she shared with Harvey (did he push drugs or only swallow them? he did hide ten dollar bills inside the records he made -- he was a singer). She goes back to his friends, particularly Josie, who enlightens her gradually; and Pete, who has given up teaching to care for the more responsive plants and flowers -- he too has been hurt in that other world of people. All in feverous prose which might involve did it not embarrass -- these children of the mandrake root ""torn screaming from the ground. . .the plant of lost souls.