Books: No Place for Children

CASTLE UGLY by Mary Ellin Barrett. 255 pages. E. P. Dutton. $4.95.

In that time before the war, no beatniks cluttered the village greens, no motels crammed the long, empty spaces between the grotesque Victorian "cottages." The houses along the lonely beaches on Long Island's aristocratic tip were inhabited by "seemingly enchanted people who lived untouched by the Depression." To them, gaiety was an art, gossip passed for conversation, and risk sports served as discipline. Just inshore from the thudding surf, they busied themselves with a series of interlinked liaisons that would boggle the imagination of an Iris Murdoch. It was, perhaps,...

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