The Landscape of Dreams (1960) was a first novel that had a nice reception; this second novel makes use of present to past in the slow, patient unravelling of Laura Tatspaugh Cayuno's history after she is brought to the Rockledge State Asylum for the Insane. The sympathetic attention of Belgian-born Dr. Munch, against the criticisms of his fellow doctors, brings back her recall. Her childhood and Lavinia, the sister who is mentioned by no one connected with Laura, the clashes between her parents and her mother's refusal to marry old Dominic Cheiuno (Cayuno) to retain the Brandon property, Billie Pierce whose love for Lavinia sent Laura into a loveless marriage with Tom Cayuno, her father's death, Lavinia's suicide, the accident that caused Tom's death and brought Laura to the Asylum, -- these are the revelations that Munch, who, in turn, is recalling his own life, evokes -- unwillingly at first, later helpfully. Munch's work with Laura brings him an offer to carry his theories further and Laura, at peace with herself and her disturbed memories, has a new haven to head for. The ingrained characteristics of the ""granite"" New Englander offering a challenge for analysis and the vision of a doctor prepared to defend his beliefs here mirror a snakepit of warmer intent, for a waiting feminine audience.