Simon Camish is an embittered, timid barrister, too busy with his own problems to take note of Rose Vassiliou across a dinner party table. But only a few years before, Rose had frequently been in the news, an heiress who turned her back on family money in the name of independence. Now she is a single parent in a decaying house, trying to raise her three children while her ex-husband takes legal action against her. When Simon finds himself drawn into her affairs, he will discover - despite what Rose may wish - that the power of money is ultimately inescapable.
Margaret Drabble captures perfectly the strangeness, confusion and black comedy that great wealth can bring.