A young artist who has belatedly renewed relations with an old female acquaintance gradually finds himself becoming disillusioned with her and drawn towards one of her friends instead, though not without first having to deal with the mother of his original girlfriend, whose amorous advances toward him are in consequence of marital incompatibilities which this novel takes a sympathetic interest in, despite its paradoxical outcome and the unenthusiastic attitude of its principal male protagonist. For those who can read between the lines.
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When an avant-garde artist renews acquaintance with a former girlfriend he gets more than he bargained for, since her mother, desperate to escape from an unhappy marriage, soon begins to pursue him and land him in something of a quandary as to how to go about tactfully extricating himself from both women without giving undue offence to either of them. A solution does however present itself to him in the form of a female colleague of his girlfriend, who has romantic difficulties of her own in the form of a conservative fellow teacher at the school where she teaches, but even that is not without risk for the artist as he struggles against yet another secret exchange which has dogged his every step towards artistic and social independence. In this tantalizing novel John O'Loughlin shows that even progressive artists are not beyond the pull of social convention.