ruous occasions, they had a trick of narrowing to blue slits. The slant of the black brows of both was up, slightly, from left to right; they were quick brows, that flickered a little with their speech.
'Let's get on our dressing-gowns and brush our hairs,' Betty suggested.
She went into one of the two adjoining rooms, and returned with a red dressing-gown and a hair-brush, and curled herself up in her chair.
'Tommy, you really have done that faun's right leg so very badly--it's getting a bad dream to me.'
Her voice died away drowsily. The brush slipped from her hand down among the piled contents of the chair; she yawned softly and fell asleep, her hair hanging in two dark, unbrushed strands over either shoulder, her cheek pillowed on one thin, scarred, childish hand. It was a curious scar, crossing the back of her left hand, a white diagonal, drawn from the knuckle of the fore-finger nearly to the wrist-bone.
Tommy, his face turned complacently ceilingwards, fell asleep too
Careless and carefree, the son and daughter of English parents live a happy, impoverished life in Naples until the arrival of a British family brings them an awareness of class difference and Victorian sensibilities. What must have seemed very clear and tragic to contemporaries of Macauley, appears overly subtle and unwonted to modern American eyes, so the novel, while full of well-executed description and fine characterization, doesn't go anywhere. The siblings are left a little sadder and wiser, but still together; the interfering family not much affected, and the reader let down.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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