A Desire Pathis Jan Shapin's second novel, set in the Depression and WW II's aftermath. This story links a love affair between a married woman and a union organizer with the crisis a famous female journalist faces trying to decide whether to join the Communist Party. Two stories of conflicted loyalties, each a journey along a desire path.
Ilse is drawn to Andy because of his involvement in labor causes, even as Andy himself is struggling with a loss of belief. Anna Mae, Andy's old friend, tries to balance her responsibility to a senile father with a growing sense her left-wing politics have trapped her. After a disastrous encounter with Ilse's husband, Andy retreats to the mountains. Anna Mae flails about - from Seattle to Moscow, Los Angeles to China - while Ilse gradually discovers her own inner compass.