Helen Macinnes, best known for Cold War spy stories, uses her intense style of character study to detail this love-at-first-sight romance, complicated by sabotage from both families. David (a student from London) and Penelope (a debutante from Edinburgh meet at a vacation hideaway on an Irish island. Penny's family use ridicule and classism to label David as not worthy. Her questioning artistic spirit has never fully fit into family expectations, but David is viewed as the ultimate threat to family loyalty and parental discipline. David's family expect him to sacrifice all to become breadwinner in support of their own vainglorious pursuits. So the new couple carry on their romance largely in secret from their family, and school and workplace friends replace their family as supportive mainstays. Their developing relationship require each to rethink their goals and how they might reach them. Their growing maturity (very satisfying) brings realistic conflicts that speed them to the stories climax. A character-study driven romance.