Although English, this is an expansive, emotional portrayal of a woman's ambivalence between the husband and son who need her, and the great artistic gift with which she is endowed. Deborah, whose serenity, innocence and talent attract Valentine Borek, a portraitist, embittered by his Jewish father's death in Europe, erratic, neurotic, marries him. More for his sake than for hers, she has the child which will counteract many of his anxieties, and the child does much to stabilize his temperament. The war years intervene; Van is imprisoned in Italy and returns aged and broken in spirit, his desire to paint destroyed. Deborah, who in this time has advanced immeasureably as an artist, has the final recognition of her exceptional gifts with the award of a fellowship, sacrifices it in order to salvage Van... A definitely noble and sometimes agonized story of renunciation which is played out on a surface level.