A slithering nest of publishing and art people tangle round one another in this unportentous beach party, taking place in seaside pleasure domes and Mexico. Two uneasy pairings dominate the chatter--painter Gordon, who had left his wife Alice; flamboyant and perennially impecunious writer Giorgio and his lovely British wife, Corinna, Sandra, divorced, chary of giving her love a second time, eventually commits herself to Gordon. But Gordon, still bound to a past in which his orphaned beginnings intrigue and mock him, can offer a love that Sandra sees only as a reflective surface. Corinna, veteran of cold houses, starvation fare, and the fat servitude of working with Giorgio, accept a loaded offer from a successful author to go back to England with her baby. However, still admiring Giorgio, she attempts the return trip herself, pursued confidently by her husband. Gordon, his art show success diminishing rather than revitalizing him, refuses to accept Sandra's pregnancy and Sandra suicides in the bounding waves before Walter's house. Presumably the wicked generation is deep in its culpas. Who cares.