. . . there be too many questions. Too much talk. Too much darkness" all obliterating this turn of the century deep Southern story with its overhang of black and white, good and evil, incantations and Night Riders and "Love's terrible other side. The other side of the sun." In fact the sun rarely shines on Illyria, the home of her husband's very mixed forefathers to which Stella is sent shortly after her marriage to Theron. His great aunts Olivia and Mary Desborough live there but the house belongs to Honoria, their faithful and strong black servant. Mysteries abound and lie buried in the journals of an original leaf on the family tree, one Marguerite Dominique de la Valeur; in the identity of Ron, also black, Honoria's grandson who had been educated in England while his mother and a sibling are kept in the scrub; and in what Stella's husband may be doing in Africa and in what new disaster she herself may be setting in motion. Many questions indeed and certainly too much talk, "drenched" in the "gentle wavelets" of Miss L'Engle's prose -- the kind of prose which Waugh called "rich in evocative description, gluttonous writing.