In this May Sinclair wartime masterpiece, dashing newsman Walter Furnival is an absurdly good catch: handsome, successful, athletic, intelligent, an upstanding epitome of manhood and rectitude. Tasker Jevons is a puny, preposterous, impossible-looking, bombastic sports writer, without one single redeeming social grace. Imagine the jealous mortification of Furny when his enchanting young typist and love interest Viola Thesiger chooses the clownish Jevons as a lover, seeing in him a remarkable inner beauty not evident to anyone but her and (as he grudgingly but magnanimously admits) the long-suffering and devoted Furnival. But despite the title, the central character of this extraordinary novel is not the redoubtable Jevons but the rebellious feminist Viola, determined against all odds not only to revolt against every enslaving conformity of her upbringing, but also to burn all her boats behind her, ruthlessly leaving herself no possibility of a return to the soporific decorum of her cloistered family and past. This extraordinary menage, however, is broken apart by the irruption of the Great War into their lives. ( Expatriate)
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