Anne and Edmund Cornhill have a happy marriage and a charming house. They are content, complete, absorbed in their private idyll. Arabella, who comes to stay one lazy summer, is rich, rootless and amoral and, as they find out, beautiful and loving. With her elegant prose the aurthor traces the web of love and desire that entangles these three; but it is Arabella who finally loses out. Elizabeth Jane Howard reveals with devastating accuracy a situation both shattering and destructive.