Encircled by recall this is the course of a ten year old's first, terrible love and its correlation to his life with his parents, at school, and with his accepted friends. Following the seasons, Peter Banion wakes in winter to Wilma Dempsey's powerful attraction which martyrs him in class, is with him on a hunt with his father, and is part of the spring when the birth of his bitch's puppies involves his father in an undignified attempt to save the only living one. There's a fishing episode, a fight with Wilma's cousin when she rejects Peter; an incident with his father's World War I souvenirs; an accident to a pariah of a schoolmate; and a series of phantoms and provisions in which he is aware of his mother's pregnancy and the coming of his new brother. And with the Autumn and an unpaid invasion of a circus, there comes the imaginary playmate Taffy whose authority results in the break from Wilma and the hidden kingdom that was a special land of delight -- leaving Peter in imbalance between his private worlds and the wretched one of adults. A kind of bravura voyeurism into the practical, unconscious innocence of a child, this adult recapture recognizes the corrosive effects behind ordinary youthful episodes, a time -- of change -- when ""the sensuous and the spiritual world lived together in ecstasy"". Pennsylvania and its striking calendar changes are the background for this provocative portrait.