Evelyn, aged thirty-nine, is an attractive widow living an irreproachable life. Then she meets Miles, fifteen years her junior, and falls passionately in love. But both lovers have strong personalities and passion does not equal happiness. Evelyn, deeply jealous and conventional is shocked at her lover's casual ways and his insistence on working all day. Miles's love for Evelyn is real but he cannot devote himself wholly to her whims. Vita Sackville-West collides attitudes to work, sex and society in the changing world of the early 1930s.
Vita Sackville-West was born in 1892 at Knole in Kent, the only child of aristocratic parents. In 1913 she married diplomat Harold Nicolson, with whom she had two sons and travelled extensively before settling at Kent's Sissinghurst Castle in 1930, where she devoted much of her time to creating its now world-famous garden. Throughout her life Sackville-West had a number of other relationships with both men and women, and her unconventional marriage would later become the subject of a biography written by her son Nigel Nicolson. Though she produced a substantial body of work, amongst which are writings on travel and gardening, Sackville-West is best known for her novels The Edwardians (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931), and for the pastoral poem The Land (1926), which was awarded the prestigious Hawthornden Prize. Sackville-West died on 2 June 1962 at her Sissinghurst home, aged seventy.