In this captivating novel the stylin Brigid Brophy portrays the impoverished bohemianism of young Londoners during the post-war years. Susan, workiing for a distinctly dubious bookseller, is in love with the elusive Neale but still obsessed with the memory of Cynthia, a rangy beauty from her schooldays. Their fumbling detective work reveals that Cynthia is due in Venice for a film festival and, in a richly comic odyssey, they journey there as couriers. Cynthia is found...and they also meet the famous singer, Helena Buchan. The ensuing shifts of love and loyalty recall the Mozart operas for which Helena is renowned, and whose music hauntingly threads the latter part of the novel. Here is love, poverty, friendship, betrayal and enlightenment. Even a breath of tragedy serves only to underline the laconic wit and optimism of this vivid and intelligent novel.