Started out brilliantly; following stubborn young Adelaide Culver and her elopement with her drawing master to live in the slums of Britannia Mews. The attempts by her well-to-do family to coax her home fail:
'Alice had in fact influenced her - though not in the direction intended. The commiseration in Alice's first manner (which Adelaide had so quickly removed) was a foretaste of the commiseration which lay in wait at Platt's End and Kensington; and sitting there in the beautifully clean tea-room, out of sight and smell of Britannia Mews, Adelaide felt she could more easily bear life with Henry than life in the family bosom...There was also the fact that on imposing on Alice a totally false picture of her marriage, Adelaide had also, for all practical purposes, imposed it on herself.'
After the first section, and its gripping climax, the story introduces new characters, and meanders on up to the Second World War. I found the book became a lot less interesting as it went on.