Confessional, after the fact, for the strange, saddening story of Addie Eldredge, and the involuntary, inescapable inner torment which found relief only in revenge. Raped by her father at 14, Addie never lost her fear and hatred of men; at her mother's insistence, she married Ed, who wanted her only because she was weaker than he. Timorous, tongue-tied, she cannot bridge her fear of him, and finally Ed, free of the domination of his father, insists on a divorce to marry someone who will be able to build him up. Addie finds her first peace and confidence and love with Halsey, the grocer -- only to lose it when Ed moves next door with a new wife. Obsessed by envy and rivalry, by her own inadequacies, the advent of Ed's baby adding the final touch to her brooding, bitter unhappiness, Addie destroys them all...Cape Cod forty years ago -- the simple talk of plain people balancing the perverse, pathological in a story of considerable momentum.