A mystery- a novel about wealth- now this, the story of a young girl's triumph over a physical handicap and of her larger, more embattled efforts to discover herself. It is also the story of the dilemma of the ""modern woman""- supposedly free to be anything she wants, even in a man's world, wanting to be everything, yet reluctant to pay the price of her vague, circumscribed ""freedom"". Theodora Foster, through the determination of her mother, overcomes a cerebrospinal paralysis which had kept her an invalid for two and a half years. (It is Theo's mother who tells her to be hard and she'll get what she wants.) At 16, Theo thought she wanted the playboy heir of a pharmaceutical fortune and she married him, and spent two dissatisfied years. Accidentally, she breaks into silent films and becomes a star comedienne. She marries a famous director, twice her age -- and indirectly causes his suicide. There are other crises she confronts:- her mother's second marriage, the stock market crash, her own development as a national cult; a breakdown of sorts. Before she is 21 she undergoes the experiences of an age -- and despite the sense that she brings too little to her problems to believe in them, Noel Clad manages to be convincing and the settings seem authentic.