Under the imprint of a new publisher (formerly Miss Allbrand was with Little, Brown), the author departs from her earlier, thriller-type stories, and turns to a merciless portrait of a merciless woman, whose possessive, dominating career was at last ended when the truth could not be denied. Through a mingling and a paralleling of part and present, Norah Sedly, 46 and widowed, is confronted with challenges to her obsessive passion to keep her dependents emotionally vitiated, when her son, Luke, falls in love with Liz Fenton, daughter of the woman who had won Norah's husband's Love. Liz recognizes the quality of her opponent, guesses something of the truth, persuades Luke to elope with her. On their return they are forced to live with Norah, and Liz again sees Luke absorbed by her -- and bit by bit finds herself losing her ability to resist her. Through the discovery of old letters, she is at last able to confront Norah- only to have Norah commit suicide just when victory is within Liz' reach and Luke turns against her. Poverty of soul, pressure creating pressure, the power of self-deception- good ingredients for a feminine novel with the pull of competent handling.