Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
Sophia is twenty-one years old, carries a newt -- Great Warty -- around in her pocket and marries -- in haste -- a young artist called Charles. Swept into bohemian London of the thirties, Sophia is ill-equipped to cope. Poverty, babies (however much loved) and her husband conspire to torment her. Hoping to add some spice to her life, Sophia takes up with the dismal, ageing art critic, Peregrine, and learns to repent her marriage -- and her affair -- at leisure.
But in this case virtue is more than its own reward, for repentance brings an abrupt end to a life of unpaid bills, unsold pictures and unwashed crockery . . .