Peirce Keating, for eight years
because of an accident, has been a quadriplegic with not hope
for recovery. He keeps telling his faithful wife May that
a new prince will be coming into her life and that if he had
the finger ability he'd pull the trigger himself to give her
a better opportunity, or to hasten that opportunity.
The new man, a wanderer of sorts, Traegger
Cable, happens on the scene, and Peirce Keating sees the immediate
attraction between May and Traegger. Bedded, without the use
of any limb, but with the full and inventive use of his mind,
he manages to fulfill his promise to give her the opportunity
for a new love, makes it the project of a lifetime.
The story twists and turns on
the relationships of the three main characters, rides on the
rich senses of an invalid and how those senses not only penetrate
his mind, but commit it to action. It does not rim the edges
of sexual hunger or sensual loss, but dives into those losses
with daring and abandon.
Peirce's project is a long and
carefully maneuvered one, and at the end, by his will and
by is own design, he floats in a final heat as if he were
lost at sea, awash forever.