A modern (World War I) novel is a change of style as well as period, offers more meat than flesh in the lives of the Bixby girls, one who bargained for money and status, the other who settled for a love which could not be legalized. Salome, more body than soul, marries one man, has an affair with another, becomes pregnant by still another, and gives the child to her sister in order to achieve her ambitious ends as the wife of an older, even richer man. Kathy, at 19, goes to work for Scott Haskell who has made a loveless marriage to Livy- the only daughter of a rich Texas tycoon. He is even more indissolubly tied to her when she is permanently paralysed after the birth of a child- who dies. But his affair with Kathy strengthens through the years- the shame of her family and the stigma of society at large does not diminish their love for each other- and when she dies she returns Scott, with her sister's child, to Livy.... Shades of Back Street the publishers consider this ""real merchandise"" and that it probably is -- as well as a two-way stretch across a wide range of warmed-up to over- heated involvements. Quality is still a desideratum but that may not affect this market.