Mr. Arnold's second novel (his very nice retelling of the Mayerling story in The Archduke worked much better) is an effulgent account of the rich, the beautiful and the damned in Camelot. Mostly Megin, as seen through the eyes of her husband, Robert, and her best friend, Jean, from early days in a fashionable school and wealthy, Catholic beginnings. To Jean she is always a source of envy but continuing loyalty as, much more endowed and indulged, Megin marries the older, high-minded Robert. With everything to live for, death is still a constant presence: her brother's in a fraternity hazing; her father's after the breakup of his marriage; two of the three children she tries to bear; and finally her only son's along with her mother in a crash. While, during all of this, there's the talk (and reality) of her adulterous relationship with another extremely presentable figure which even the President of the U.S. tries to silence. All before the leukemia which overtakes her. . . . With all its elegant accessories, it is easily read even though it's really no more than a sudser, in the heady spin cycle.