The first novel by the author of The Glass and A Streetcar Named Desire this murky tale of voids and impending violence is as disturbing and lowering as thunder before a storm. Mrs. Stone, fifty and abandoned by career, beauty and emotional outlet in the death of her son-husband, in drifting purposelessly in sun-ripe Rome. Unable to relax her egocentric self-confinement, even when the natural momentum of her life has slackened and sputtered out, Mrs. Stone cannot accept the advances of a former girl friend with whom she had a Lesbian relation, and finds her predatory pecks at a feminine gigolo whom she is supporting futile. Mrs. Stone is at last forced to recognize the presence of a brutal, obscene fact in the figure of a man who appears from time to time- omnipresent, . A signal handkerchief dropped from her balcony ends Mrs. Stone's drifting, but not the story the ultimate violence is suggested but never stated. Although uneven in form, with too little of the heavily packed dialogue, the mood is sustained and there is some handsome writing.