Mr. Barrett has skillfully piloted some science fiction and religiously oriented tales through commercial channels these many years, leaving a minimum of suds. Again working within Catholicism's inner societies and outer society's miseries as he did with Lilies of the Field, the author takes on the currently popular subject of priests who cannot finally accept the vows of celibacy, leave the church, and marry. Father Gregory Lind, serving the pastor of a parish in the midwest, meets, through a center for poverty-stricken Spanish-Americans, which he had inaugurated, Pamela Gibson. Pamela, daughter of one of the town's most successful men, divorced from her first husband, returns the love which Gregory has so suddenly expressed. Grieved and anguished, Gregory cannot yet ""hate"" his sin and finds no choice but to leave the priesthood, in spite of intense pressure to reconsider from his family, the clergy, his own dedication. Once married, Gregory finds that earning a living is no simple matter. His instincts drive him to menial jobs among the poor, but Pam finds it difficult to adjust. A legacy from Pam's father relieves the financial burden considerably, and although the prospect for conflict between them is always there. Gregory knows that Pam is his only possible approach to ultimate peace. In spite of the easy glide over complicated motivations, Mr. Barrett approaches his subject with seriousness and frankness. An absorbing, companionable book on a current church concern.