While the title would indicate that this is young Adrian's story, actually the interest centers around his father, a clergyman in London's West End, Robert Carbury, who was the prime mover in a Moral Rearmament movement. A winner of the Victoria Cross in World War I, Robert had turned pacifist, threatening his safety and that of his family. The story follows not only the father's experiences as a great teacher and preacher, but his children's happy years in America, the return and Adrian's love at sixteen for the daughter of his astronomy teacher, the growing resentment of his father whose devotion he hated, whose beliefs he could not understand. A sort of armistice is reached between them; the boy joins up, after bucking everything his parents expected of him. And after VE day he is sent to occupied Germany where he meets again the girl he had loved. The shifting focus of interest, sometimes on the inner battle of the pacifist in the midst of war, sometimes on the problem of the father and son relationship, makes this an often unsatisfactory and rather diffuse picture of pre-war and wartime English youth.