This book chronicles the life of Violet Keppel later Violet Trefusis. The author uses the two main relationships in her life, with her mother Alice Keppel (mistress of Edward VII) and her lover, Vita Sackville-West, to try to understand the complex and tragic life of this woman who seems to have been born in the wrong time.
Violet's enduring and passionate love for Vita was socially unacceptable to such a degree that it destroyed her life in England and her relationship with many of the people she loved. The affair ended in tragedy and destructiveness, much as it began, and you get the sense of Violet as a woman who was forever exiled from her own true life and feeling and forced to create an existence so peculiar that few could tolerate it in the long term.
It is a fascinating portrait of a long and wasted life.