Fleur Talbot lives on what she'd probably call the grimy fringes of literary London in the early 50s. It reeks with atmosphere - eating sardines in a bedsit, writing poetry in a graveyard, having a brief affair with a married man who then goes off with another man. Fleur becomes close (and, we discover, lifelong) friends with her lover's wife. But this is just incidental. Or is it? In a Spark novel, you never know where you are. Information is dished out parsimoniously, and apparently out of sequence. Life imitates art, art imitates life. Fleur takes a job with a rickety outfit called the Autobiographical Association. She becomes convinced that the man who runs it, Sir Oliver Quentin, has a long term plan to blackmail the members, who include (of course) a defrocked priest and an aging minor aristocrat nicknamed "Bucks" (her real name's Bernice). Fleur begins to feel that she is inventing everyone she knows as her novel takes shape. Skullduggery ensues as Sir Oliver tries to get her novel suppressed (it gives away his evil plans). There's an awful moment (you saw it coming) when Fleur finds that all copies of her novel have disappeared. Who triumphs in the end? Well, it's Fleur herself telling the story.