Set in the stiff and mannered world of the Anglo-Irish upper class of the thirties and forties, the novel follows young Nicandra as she endures the effects of her mother's evil and unforgivable deed and her own disastrous marriage
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Andrew asked Aunt Tossie baby bantams bath beautiful bedroom bird blue boots bread-soda breakfast breath caravan chair cold comfort course Dada Dada's dancing dark darling dear Deer Forest dining room dinner dogs door dress drink eggs Elizabeth Jolley empty everything eyes Fagan foie gras Fox-Collier Geary Gentleman's Relish Gigi girl give glass going hand happy head heard horses hot-water bottle Hunt hurried Kate kedgeree Kileady kind KING PENGUIN kiss kitchen knew Lalage Lally laughed light looked Madarm Maman morning room mother Nannie Nannie's never Nicandra felt nursery nursery room opened Penguin perhaps pleasure quietly Robert round sandwiches scone shut silly Silly-Willie Sir Dermot's sounded spinach stood thing thought tiny tonight took Tossie's tray turned Twomey Twomey's viburnum voice waited warm watched whisky Willie window wonderful