A quite different type of novel from FEBRUARY HILL, and in its way as perceptive, though perhaps not as unusual. This time the focus is on the story of a girl growingup, a girl well-born, but in early childhood profoundly affected by the disintegration of her parents' marriage, the emotional repercussions which they thought they were sparing her. A contemporary novel, in that the whole of the action -- if action it can be called -- takes place in the quarter century preceding World War II. And yet the feeling of the background takes on the color of a period novel, so sharply does the author etch the psychological setting, the moods, points of view, the growing pains of the shift from a too-sheltered, almost a deprived childhood of the well-to-do, with inherited intolerances and prejudices, to an artificial adaptation to the freedoms of a world never quite Celia's own. Her loneliness, her frustrations, her clutchings at the trappings of popularity are superbly conceived -- convincingly presented. A searching psychological novel directed toward the adolescence of a girl much closer to the norm than the average heroine of modern novels. The setting is largely Rhode Island, with Philadelphia and Cambridge as periphery.