Hawk Among the Sparrows was a finished but limited piece of caricature; this, his second novel, is equally provocative and equally provoking, but in far more earnest strain. Provocative, in that Hawkins is a polished writer, in a sardonic, intellectualized manner; provoking, in that the book is never much more than a semi-ironic, semi-philosophical commentary. What plot there is stands still, making the book emerge as an astute reflection of the irresolute young in a formless, disintegrating society, which is quite stagnant. The scene is a routine small English town; the characters are supposedly typical of the directionless younger generation, personified by two sons, in their early twenties, the elder, attractive, realistic, amusing himself with liquor and women; the younger, Clive, ""dangerously unfledged"", sensitive and dependent on the stability of home and mother. To the village comes Benita, mature and beautiful and refusing to play the part Clive sets for her. So the story unfolds.