A first novel which traces with more intensity than interest the emotional evolution of a young woman, as her exposure to the sensation-loving, classless world of Scollay Square takes her more than a few streets away from Beacon Hill where she belongs by birth and breeding. For Beth, on her own for the first time, is picked up by a sailor, Jerry fights off the attraction he exerts but eventually loses herself and her inhibitions in an affair. Her friendships with Martin Bernstein, a Jewish labor lawyer, and with Emily Lazarro, from an Italian slum section, widen her horizons and her sympathies. And there is drayma as she is drawn into all these lives, a fire, and a killing, which preface her realization of the love she bears for Martin.... For all the extremes of passion- physical (?public libraries?) and intellectual, this is not above dealing in social stereotypes and some easy solutions to attitudes of prejudice.