stand, Bernard, once for all, that--I am not sure of myself! I'm not at all sure that I love you!"
She had said it. The words rang like a clarion call through the silent room. After years of self-deception, and careful covering up, a moment's impulse had laid bare the skeleton. It stood between them, a naked horror, grinning with fleshless lips. Cassandra saw it and shuddered at the sight, but it was too late to draw back. She caught her breath, and sat tremblingly waiting for what should come.
What came was a burst of hearty, good-natured laughter. Bernard's eyes twinkled, his white teeth gleamed. He stretched out a freckled hand and laid it on his wife's arm.
"That's all right, old girl! Don't you worry about that. You're fond of me all right, and a rattling good wife. We've been married a dozen years, and never had a row. If all couples got along as well as we do, things would be a sight better. What's the use of bothering about love at this time of day. I'm not a sentimental
Very different from Mrs. de Horne Vaizey's usual hearty and sentimental girls' stories, this sad novel at times seems somewhat Evelyn Waugh-ish, though without Waugh's dark humor.
The plot follows residents of a small in English town. At the center is 30-year-old Lady Cassandra, unhappily married and trapped in a joyless and futile life. In contrast, her friend Grizel is euphoric, although she has given up a fortune in order to marry her beloved.
The moral questions of the novel may be difficult for modern readers to sympathize with, and although most of the emotional issues remain universal, the conclusion lacks catharsis.