The iron of the bridge felt hot under my hand. The sun had been upon it all day. Gripping hard with my hands I lifted myself on to the bar and gazed down steadily on the water passing under . . . I thought of places I would never see, and women I should never love’
As far as Richard’s father, a famous poet, is concerned, his son has no talent as a writer and will never amount to anything. In a moment of crisis, Richard decides to end his life, but is saved by Jake, a passing stranger. The two men, both at turning points in their lives, set out for adventure, jumping aboard a ship to Norway.
Their travels take them through Europe and they form a passionate friendship. But in bohemian Paris Richard meets Hesta, a music student who inspires him to follow his artistic dreams.
No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification . . . She satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied the exacting requirements of “real literature”, something very few novelists ever do – Margaret Forster