This carries a man, more damned than doomed, through the years in Europe with a wandering father, to Montreal and a sick uncle, to the wealth of the Elliots and their comfortable domination. But Peter West, married to Margot Elliot, found that his painting was not up to the demands he made of it, nor was he up to the demands Margot made of him as an artist no that when war came, he was an early volunteer. And when his flying luck changed and his crew was killed, Peter put away painting, returned to Canada but not to Margot and almost foundered while he floundered. It took Gregory Elliot's fiancee, who fell in love with Peter, to crack his retreat from painting, to reveal that he only loved Margot and to act as midwife for the picture that made Peter's own portrait come alive. Too many helpers stifling and crippling a genius that has not discovered itself surround a sober, serious paced novel conservatively concerned with art, marriage and a search for integrity.