The midnight diary of Irene Mannheim reflects the twilight postwar world in Hungary and follows her course of non-participation and resignation under the pressures of a tightening political terrorism. For Irene who emerges from a concentration camp in east Poland at the end of the war is broken in body- and almost in spirit. She returns to Hungary and in Budapest finds her mother's oldest friend whose strength sustains her through her first months of rehabilitation. With her death, she turns to Poldi, a cousin who had also been her closest childhood attachment, and hopes to find through him some course of redirection. But he returns to England, and it is the Merediths, a couple at the British legation, who are her only refuge as the increasingly restrictive regime threatens her friends-and finally the Merediths are ousted. It is some two years later that her diaries are left- to them- with the foreknowledge of her doom.... Despondent as much of this is, it is undoubtedly a true picture of a country and a people and the satellite status of suppression. But Irene's long suffering humility is more admirable than appealing, and her story lacks the spirit which might attract the general reader.