A strange book, so French that it seems incredible that it should have been written by an Englishman. The scene shifts from the vineyards of the provinces to the glitter of Paris of the boulevards and theatre boards, after the Second Empire. Morgan has a faculty for getting into the heart of things, one feels and sees and senses the life and the people and the backgrounds. And against this, certain characters emerge:- the old priest, still harboring his own sin, the fruit of which is the dancer, Therese Despreux, passionate, volatile, egomaniac, willing to give where she wills it, but not for money nor for fame; the Hazards, squires of the village, owners of the great vineyards, the inn, the fates of the village people, and particularly Barbet, as sharp an individualist as Therese, and loving her, but unwilling to make concessions to public opinion -- or to his own fears. Both find in their dreams a chance to escape the world; this brings them together, again and again, but neither will yield a way of life to the other. Through their contacts, through Therese's meteoric rise to fame, and Barbet's imprisonment, as a result of keeping faith with himself -- and betraying the trust of the state in letting his prisoners go -- they find their bond growing ever stronger, until finally they can go on a voyage of life together. The story is slow paced at the start, but as one gets into the swing of it, it gathers momentum. Throughout, Morgan's semi-mysticism, his metaphysical approach, his philosophy, are interwoven in the thoughts and conversations of his characters. His most saleable book since The Foundation.