Rowley University has become familiar terrain to readers of the earlier The Stones of the House -- and is peripherally a part of this new setting, in which the central figure is an engineer connected with an industrial plant in the town. But Morrison cannot resist interweaving the pattern of campus and town, and the result, with its two generation shift back and forth, is never quite sharply enough defined. The central theme- what is the nature of creation -- seems more integral to the thinking of the professor, Arthur Scheuer, geneticist, than it is to Kent Warner, the engineer. And yet it is Kent's struggles to maintain his integrity in the melee of personnel problems at the plant that provide the catalyst for the plot. Involved too are Kent's daughter's family, Arthur's neurotic wife (sister of Kent's wife) and Claudia, their niece and adopted daughter, with her checkered romance. Perhaps Morrison has attempted too definitely to cover ""the whole creation"" -- but despite its inadequacies it is a provocative and civilized novel, of which there are too few.