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Margaret Pennefather is essentially a good person - too good, perhaps, for her own good. Her rash and hasty marriage to film star Colum McInnes, and his very different set of moral values, leads gradually and relentlessly to the utter destruction of their love and their marriage. Although she is only a nominal Protestant and he a very lax Roman Catholic, Margaret cannot escape the religious questionings implicit in their union.
Her mental and spiritual struggles persist and gather momentum through all the disasters of her married life. Its outcome is the climax to a story that must surely rank as one of the most impressive L. P. Hartley has given us.