Increasingly difficult to find, these last years, are novels such as this- a civilized, contemporary story in the class of quality feminine fiction of, let's say, Helen Hull at her best. Here is an attractively, intelligently contoured story of family relationships. Fredericka, in her thirties, finds herself leading a useless spiritless life in which both her husband, Christopher, and her children, are meaningless, and the painting, for which she has a talent, is neglected. Looking back, she recognizes the error of her marriage to Christopher, a marriage which had cushioned her in security and enabled her to continue her dependence on Aunt Palm, Christopher's mother, who had been closer to Fredericka than to her son. When the war comes it offers Christopher a way out by enlisting. Fredericka, returning to her painting, finds additional stimulus in her friendship with Franz Allers, an Austrian refugee doctor who had lost his wife and his nerves in the war. When she finds herself falling in love with Franz, she turns to Aunt Palm who helps her sever the link that binds them, and breaks with Chris, painful as it is for him. Montage and entourage, upper New York State, and the narrowing world of indolent, self-indulgent suburbia, show up and set off the love story of Fredericka and Allers.