Paul is a man with a blind wife and three children, living in Kansas, and finding release in his study of the stars, which remain a constant during the changes in his family. For Mona, Mitchell and Ann have no feeling for the solitary worlds their father knows well, and Ludlow, Kansas, does not hold the two older -- Mona is off for the East and the theater, and Mit, after wandering, finds a girl to marry. With these two lost, Paul, when a chance comes to move, must carry the burden of his afflicted wife and rebellious younger daughter to the town where his amateur observations, carefully checked, bring him recognition with a comet named for him. Tensions within a family are in contrast to the vastness of the skies, and a man's lonesome watches balance out the strains to which he is daily exposed in a novel which contemplates rather than dramatizes. This keeps the tone of her earlier The Narrow Covering (1956).