A strange and chilling novel by Elizabeth Taylor, very different from any of her others: 'Beauty and corruption touch us - at the same time, in the same place ...always the two going hand in hand.'
Camilla is a gauche spinster, on the brink of middle age, who started life on the wrong footing and never got going, never launched herself into love or marriage. Her friend Liz - who allows herself second chances at what she doesn't get right first time - is shakily married to a slightly pompous vicar, but their relationship steadies itself; it isn't perfect, but grows more solid as an institution. The two women are on a week's holiday staying with Liz's old governess.
Desperate for something to happen to her, Camilla begins an incongruous liaison with the only man on the horizon, a handsome liar with empty eyes who is staying seemingly aimlessly in a local hotel ... And the ending is more chilling than anything I could have expected from Elizabeth Taylor.