Flora is a young Oxford lecturer, whose love affair with a married man has ended in tragedy. She faces a bleak, empty world. Following an ill-fated flight to a villa in Tuscany, and the collapse of her warm friendship with Lalage, an Oxford colleague, Flora is close to breakdown.
She is rescued by her understanding family and by her return to Oxford, where she finds release from her own emotional problems in those of her most brilliant student, Nan, who seems about to sacrifice her career on the altar of revolutionary politics.
Lettice Cooper explores and illuminates the varied contrasts of generations, classes, and beliefs, and is equally absorbing in the smaller world of university rivalries and gossip, or the hot-house jealousies and intrigues in an Italian villa. Above all, this book illuminates the personality of a young woman at a crisis in her life.