The complexities of Catholicism at conflict with a contrasting way of life in a story which some readers will find important for its spiritual values. The author has previously made the Catholic Church background for a story (Dearly Beloved -- Duell, Sloan & Pearce -- 1941). This time his central figure is Spencer Bain, sceptic and anthropologist, who joins the Church, solely to forward his investigation of the Penitentes in New Mexico. His wife's visit, the realization of her fear of pregnancy, the studied effort to maintain a social front when his publisher, Kendal, and his amorous wife, and his superior, Sohapper, come for Easter, during the very period when Bain is deeply involved (more than he intended) in the of the season. With the violent death of Schapper, Bain is offered his position -- and only at the last moment, does he realize that he cannot deny the integrity of his awakening to faith...Two sets of values are at war...A book which may appeal to some who liked Razor's Edge.