Oddly period in feel, this is actually a contemporary tale of the fading glories of a vanishing generation of the socially elite of Paris and its environs. Clinging to a past when the standards of social success had been within their making, a tiny segment of a lost world find their dreams have become ashes, that jealousy is stronger than passion. There is the Vicomte de Bas-Pouilly, to whom his relationship with Rose over thirty three years means more than marriage could have meant, though Rose can still be jealous of the once glamorous Lady Maclean, whom all men love, and of Edouard's unhappy sister, whom she had never seen... There is Rudi Holbein, playwright, whose shadowy wife, Cora, suddenly stepped out of character, left him, and became a painter of some renown...There is Ruby Maclean, envied by all, but defeated within herself by the withdrawal of her husband, the hatred of her daughter, Miranda, with whom she had abysmally failed...There's fortune seeking cad, Tuxie, who fails in love with Ruby and marries Miranda, only to make her life a double hell in Jamaica, where they are sent. Such is the cast. The drama is acted out to almost classical tragedy dimensions of death on all fronts, with wasted love and active hate as motivating forces. There is no feel of the modern world; the story- which might have carried conviction in more glamorous days- seems to exist in a vacuum.