Dean Lynch is unhappily married to a Methodist minister, Ben Lynch. In the first pages, Dean is alone and moving to a trailer in a small town on the Gulf Coast where nobody will think to look for her. Then we are returned to an earlier time, when Dean and Ben are arriving at their new church in Florida. Ben is ambitious and not sure that his wife (who, he keeps reminding her, came from a white trash background) is going to behave well enough for him to achieve his ambitions in the Methodist Church. Dean is quickly makes friends with Augusta Holderfield, who Ben is anxious to bring back to his church. But Augusta is emotional and unstable, and Ben quickly begins to disapprove of her and her growing influence on Dean. Through her friendship with the Holderfields, Dean begins to blossom. Tragedy strikes and Dean finds herself sad but free. I think that Ben's character is too resolutely awful. The author makes the religious people in the book a awful and portrays the people who are basing their lives on the occult as the "wise" ones.
I also think the book was a bit too long. There were whole descriptive paragraphs that did little to add to the story that could have been removed, like the antique napkins getting used to mop up spilled coffee by a one-scene-only character. I ended up skimming and skipping pages.