College roommates Cecile, Norma and Amanda are graduating. Cecile will marry well at once; Norma never expects to marry and plans to teach; and beautiful Amanda has no plans, only a vague determination not to live like her family. She continues to escape by deciding to marry Normas brother, a man who inspires pity but not love.

Amanda, with her misguided conception of happiness, is the most strongly developed character of the three. Her actions become the central influence of the story.

Author Belva Plain creates a moody and compelling portrait of a woman whose decisions are in response to unexamined emotion. Before Amanda finally connects with her own best interest, she triggers catastrophic events that hurt and change those she loves most. (Apr., 340 pp., $25.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger