Not to be compared with A Place Without Twilight (except perhaps as an affirmation of the talent manifest in that book- his first), this is a strange, spectral and on occasion turbid novel. If it is perhaps ambiguous, it is in part because of its allegorical design and its descent from Greek legend; in part because it deals with the ambivalence of human passions and the ""loving hate"" which directs them. The oedipal theme is overt; more suggestive is the comic-tragic sense of life. While the characters are to some extent abstractions- they represent complementary forces (good and evil, innocence and lust; etc.) and the story itself, set in a small, nameless Southern city, is concerned with the two wives- and the two daughters- of wealthy Edmund Choate. With his first wife, the notorious Silvana, Edmund acquires also an illegitimate daughter, Loris, whom he returns to Europe at Silvana's death. His second wife Anne, who brings him a short period of ""soft or pure contentment"", dies in childbirth, leaving him Adrianne to whom he devotes himself exclusively from then on. Years later Loris, now a young woman, returns to take up residence on Melpomene Street (Melpomene being the tragic muse) and it is said that she wishes to haunt Edward and destroy him. However, it is Adrianne, deceptively guileless and innocent, who repudiates him and ends his life- so that the sisters, now whole, now one, disappear together.... An unusual book which- while essentially esoteric- never loses its hypnotic hold on the reader and provides a brooding, inbred drama- perhaps reminiscent of O'Neill. It should assure further attention for a young and highly interesting writer.