A strange and rather confusing story which unfortunately echoes a pattern recognizable to many- the growing into mental unbalance of a woman who has never savored life in her own right. Theodora Goodman, sallow, plain, honest and sensitive child, grew up in a more or less typical small American town, having nothing to show for her life but the care of a crotchety mother- and the pleasure of her niece and nephews. Her one suitor, considered by her mother a most ""eligible"" man, she ""went with"" for a time with no flicker of emotion, and turned down marriage, feeling that she was too plain- and her mother wanted it too much. Freed- at 45-by her mother's death, she sets out to see the world, stepping at last in a Paris pension where she shared the lives of a motley group by enlarging in her imagination upon casual encounters -- a period which grew in unreality and incoherence. Then, when the pension burned, she went home where her uncertain sanity quietly disintegrated as her thwarted nature became more repressed and ingrown. The period of her childhood had a certain poignancy, but for this reader the novel loses flavor and interest as the bitter and approaches. -- A psychological novel, dealing with mental problems- of appeal to a fairly defined audience.