Sandra Lee, 22, with a commonplace job in a cosmetics firm, must make a ""Decision"" to marry her true and steady Bun who is off to lay cables in Sarawak, but she would like to have had some ""kind of a past with which to face the future"", a few memories as well as day-dreams. During the time spent here, a morning, and a long afternoon office party, Sandra tempta life before it closes in on her. Appealingly, appallingly naive, her innocence is her beat defense as the holiday festivities proceed. Even tragedy (the death of one of the men's wives) is not as sobering as it should be; the saturnalia continue, permit all kinds of embarrassing and humiliating incidents, and subside in a sour aftermath which leaves Sandra no longer wishing for something ""exciting, even bad"", but grateful for the security of marriage and Sun.... An original, powerful writer, Sansom has written his gentlest book to date, perhaps designed for the wider public that he deserves but has not reached before. Only occasional touches reveal the caustic severity of observation (""his fingers... like hairless little parsnips"") and irony (""Successful sin can be conveniently forgotten; failure hangs about forever."") at his command and toughen the wistfulness of inexperience here.