The Radberts, a Czechoslovakian family of wealth and culture, find little but fancy and illusion to support them once they have been loosed from their familiar moorings. Particularly outcast are Radbert senior, a quixotic aesthete, who has tried to fill his life with the love of art when he is refused the love of his wife, and his daughter, Marianne, neurotically tied to her father. When Marianne, a model, suggests that she may be becoming involved with her employer, a successful business man who has made it the hard way, her father succumbs to a stroke which renders him partially insane. Out of this disaster is born the passion of Marianne Radbert, a passion which takes her through the fires of neurotic torment and salves her with a balm, one part Catholicism, one part psychoanalysis. Karl Stern, author of The Pillar of Fire and The Third Revolution does not digress from his theme of guilt and expiation, but injects incest, psychosis, and isolation into character and situation which are at once oppressive and familiar. A long, depressing novel which , after much whining, ends with a whimper.