Books: Moral Appeaser

THE WHOLE HEART—Helen Howe—Simon & Schuster ($2.50).

The Whole Heart by Helen Howe may sound like a mild fit of coughing but is, in fact, a remarkable first novel. Dedicated to the proposition that half a conscience is worse than none at all, it is an excruciating story of "the typical Anglo-Saxon" and of four women who loved him—a story told entirely in terms of their letters and diaries. It is by turns howlingly funny, shrewd, sinister, ferocious, painful with the pain of a fluctuating personality.

It is also a disappointment. For Miss Howe,...

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