A short, philosophical novel built around some of the problems raised by the known imminence of his death, as Edmund Carr, faced with the fact of a maximum of four months of life, chooses to spend them on a tropical cruise on which Laura Drysdale has booked passage. A commentator and journalist of note, Carr is a bachelor. His admiration of Laura has been unexpressed -- presumably unsuspected -- and he proposes to keep it that way. Just how the forces of propinquity, of shared experience, even of competition, serve to alter the tenor of his emotions provides the driving force of what little plot there is. To his diary- and to the reader- he confides his self-searching analysis, with the realization of an approach to death, concealed from his fellow passengers, a philosophical factor. A book of considerable charm but slight importance.