"I did not want to grow up . . . It was my father and mother who existed, I could see them as two springs, bursting from a stony cliff, and rushing down a mountainside in torrent, and joining to flow through the world as a great river."
Rose Aubrey is one of a family of three girls and their adored younger brother, Richard Quin. Their father, Piers, is the disgraces son of an Irish landowning family, a violent, noble, improvident and, when it suits his ends, quite unscrupulous leader of popular causes. His Scottish wife, Clare, is an artist, a tower of strength, fanatically devoted to a musical future for her daughters.
This is the story of their life in South London - a life threatened by Piers's streak of tragic folly which keeps them on the verge of financial ruin and social disgrace.Set in the year 1900, this is without doubt Rebecca West's masterpiece; a stirring, beautifully-told story of family love and family feuds, of three girls growing up in the Edwardian era, determined both to become artists and to live lives their own.