"I'm not, at heart, a jumper; it's not my sort of thing...I think I knew all the time I was sizing up the bridge that the strong possibility was I'd go home, attend my sister's wedding as invited, help hook-and-zip her into whatever she wore, take the bouquet while she received the ring, through the nose or on the finger, wherever she chose to receive it, and hold my peace when it became a question of speaking now of forever holding it." It is the hottest June on record and the longest day of the year. Cassandra Edwards -tormented, intelligent, mordantly witty - leaves her graduate studies and her Berkeley flat to drive through the scorching heat to her family's ranch. There they are all assembled: her philosopher father, smelling sweetly of five-star Hennessy; her kind, fussy grandmother; her beloved, identical twin sister Judith, who is about to be married - unless Cassandra can help it.
Dorothy Dodds Baker (1907-68) was born in Montana but grew up in California and after her marriage lived in France. Her first novel, Young Man with a Horn, about a white jazz musician, was a great critical success and was made into a film starring Kirk Do