Last year, Norah Lofts won the American Booksellers' Award for the Forgotten book with her exquisite fantasy romance, I Met A Gypsy. Then came a charming fictionized biography of Raleigh, Here Was A Man. Now -- again as distinct from the other two as they are from each other, comes this tragic story of a child, ill born, thrust into a hopeless environment, arbitrarily snatched forth, and then, through the vagaries of fate, brought up against the stone wall of circumstances she was not equipped to meet. If the author could forgo her message, ignore a motive, she would have told a revealing story of character and environment versus inheritance. As it is, she has weakened her purpose in too openly declaring it, making this almost a thesis novel. But she can write and she has a tale to tell.