Julia Almond,born into drab suburban povery in Edwardian London, longs for a better life, the fairy-tale world of romance she glimpsed in the toy peepshow of her childhood. She believes she is somebody special, always seeking - through her work, her conventional marriage and finally a young lover - the magic which will make her dreams come true.
But these are peepshow fantasies. For Julia lives at a social level where convention and respectability - particularly for women - exert their most tyrannical hold. Julia cannot escape and in attempting to do so, she brings tragedy to herself and those who love her. When first published in 1934, this famous novel was identified with the sensational Thompson/Bywaters murder case. Today it is striking as a brilliant example of Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse's genius as a storyteller, and for its magnificent portrait of a woman trapped by her sex, her class, and the times she lived in.