In the 1930s, Henry and Helen Williamson arrive on the French Riviera looking for a house. Barely thirty, Henry has been forced to retire from the Indian civil service through ill-health. They fall in love with the dreamlike Lou Paradou and set about constructing a life of ease, and a ravishing garden. But as the political conflict gathers, so the atmosphere of their new home becomes increasingly unquiet and a tragic fate befalls them. THE LONG AFTERNOON enchants and involves the reader, just as the Williamsons' garden seduces its visitors.