Lucy Crown is unhappily married to a businessman who is dissatisfied with his life and proves to be a controlling husband.
She has given up her career, and feels ‘timid and uncertain and vengeful’. When she embarks on a casual affair with a younger man, it leads to estrangement from her only son.
Shaw’s novel follow Lucy and her family as they drift apart during the war years, and ends with a more self-aware Lucy, now in her 60’s, who is finally able to talk to her son about the lessons of the past. Bleak at times, it shines a light on issues raised by marital infidelity and the impact it has on families.
Irwin Shaw (1913 – 1984) was an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story author, best know for his first novel The Young Lions.