The pattern suggests somewhat I Met A Gypsy, in that this is the story of Ellen Swain against the background of her female ancestors. The early part, looking back into the lives of the women of the past, seems more closely knit than the somewhat diffuse and overlong story of Ellen herself, and her seeking, over the years, for the thing she really wants, her rejection of substitutes. The scene shifts from upper New York to the city, then to Maine -- and ultimate happiness. American history, fragmentarily, the past giving inner meaning to the present. A woman's book.