Kane weaves a threnody of desire and guilt as theater director (and narrator) David revisits his introduction to passion via the journals of his vanished ex-lover. After 24-year-old Emily uses birth control, her fervid Roman Catholic husband, Rick, refuses to have sex with her. Denied affection by her husband, Emily finds intimacy with David—then just 17 years old—who impregnates her. The tension between Emily's dedication to her dancing and her reluctant desire for David establishes the conflict between life and art that resonates up to the book's melodramatic conclusion. David's frequent injection of his retrospective observations and the caricatured portrayal of religious zealot Dr. Wilson detract from the complexity of relationships that give life to Emily's struggles. David's invocation of Echo and Narcissus as a parallel to his relationship with Emily gives a pointed hint at the battle between lust and love that reverberates throughout. Kane's mixing of present-day ruminations with a remembered past provides enjoyable reading; the narrator's self-focus, however, may suggest that he is Narcissus indeed.