This is a story of displaced aristocracy. This time, the plight of the vanishing breed is highlighted on an island off the coast of Turkey -- the last stronghold for the descendants of the Ottoman Empire builders. Yusef Pasha, the Tekinhan family patriarch, is a figure of former empire days. He has insulated his grandsons, Davud and Refet, cousins, from the Westernization influences which took the fore on the Turkish mainland from the time of the military coup in 1923 in the hope of instilling in them a certain noblesse oblige. The young men have grown up on the island with two orphan sisters and wish to marry the girls, and remain on the island. But the sisters, being originally strangers to the island, are more closely allied to Western mores and can see that the old ways hold no promise. Davud, in an effort to straddle the issue, has already compromised himself by lending his efforts to his jaded uncle's plan with an Istanbul schemer to transact an illegal munitions deal. The resolution of the conflict arises out of the young men's coming to terms with reality, (in this case, departing, after Yusef Pasha's death, for the Spanish Civil War) drawing on the stability of their lineage and education. This first novel offers a thesis -- a plea for continuity -- change softened by permanent values. But, as in a ""thesis novel"", however poignant the circumstances, the spokesmen become shadowy figures, not persons.