The reaction of a band of cosy indolents on an English tourist, Caroline Page, whose fortnight holiday in a Portuguese fishing village brings her an abortive romance. A capricious decision to banish a distasteful affaire sends Caroline to Marinha and into a cosmopolitan group, dominated by the absent poet, Leo. It is Leo's best friend, Robert, with whom Caroline falls in love, and whom she tries to rescue from his adoration of Leo. It is the group, and their gradual revelations, it is Leo's return that enlightens Caroline as to her inability to be absorbed by such symbolical decadents. A tale that might have had more impact if it had had more substance, both in characters and atmosphere.