Told from the point of view of Peter Amory, Violet Amory's young son, this is supposed to be a half-gay, half-sad account of life with a perennial belle, but emerges as trash. Violet was a beautiful widow with a taste for high life and her preferences took her from Long Island, to Palm Springs, to Newport and to Europe's watering places during the twenties and thirties. Her beaux seemed to be of two kinds: impoverished gold diggers or wealthy, dull young men with careers in finance. But in spite of Mother's gifts she was jilted often enough to cause her some disturbance about the permanence of her way of life. Fortunately there was always Jules Richmond who could be relied on to pick up the pieces and whose vast resources cushioned the shock when Violet was wiped out by the Crash. Inevitably, though, Mother begins to wilt, her paramours grow younger and less substantial and her friends among the international white trash prove undependable. Eventually, worn out by a frenzied social whirl and the haphazard care of her health Violet dies of cancer. The moral of the story seems to be that Violet was basically too innocent to escape disaster in a competitive cosmopolitan world. And, oddly, his upbringing has had no unfortunate effects on Peter. Of little value.