As an inside picture of Mormon life in our own times, this is most revealing; as novel. It is formless, unmotivated, inconclusive. From Caroline, ugly duckling who does not turn out to be a swan, on up to her grandmother, Esther, with her fanaticism, her her , one gets a cross section, pitiless in its implied criticism of a way of life that can warp and twist people out of normal responses to living. Various aspects of the Mormon social pattern emerge -- they have their good fellowship, their fun -- but any deviation from the Mormon dictates means a verdict of guilty -- though untried -- even when it comes to Burton, who had just returned from the mission and field, and Liz, who had waited for him. It is a tragic book, but somehow it lacks the poignancy that would give it emotional depth.