Email this review


A study in infidelity in a somewhat unconvincing tale of a marriage. The place is England; the time the present; the main characters, the Chadwicks, specifically Sir Walter Chadwick, high ranking civil servant, an inflexible sort of man, with an all-embracing mother fixation; his wife Beatrice, too attractive to men for her possessive husband's peace of mind, and Sally, still pretty adolescent but perceptive. And old friend turns up from some distant spot of Empire, and Beatrice relives her brief aberration, when she went off with him for a few unhallowed days. With his departure, she determines to confess a life of long standing to her husband. And when she does, he cannot forgive; the lie seems worse to him because for years he had thought it was another man. Into this split in matrimonial serenity comes a cousin by marriage and her unpleasant son. Sir Walter is charmed, and when Beatrice goes to her sick mother in Kenya, he falls into the snare set for him, only to find that a slight case of blackmail is involved which sullies the name of his mother- and presents him with some contradictory situations which make his break with Beatrice pretty silly. It winds up by a convenient suicide which takes the blackmailing cousin with matrimonial designs out of the picture, and permits the comforting return of the one-time-erring wife. A low for Susan Ertz, in spite of which her audience will probably still read her.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1953
Publisher: Harper