‘My wife and I knew Captain and Mrs. Ashburnham as well as it was possible to know anybody, and yet, in another sense, we knew nothing at all about them.’
Two wealthy Edwardian couples—one American, the other British—meet at a spa in Germany and for nine years enjoy a placid friendship. But over the course of four days, everything falls apart: love affairs are exposed, blackmail schemes uncovered, and deceptions revealed. After a sequence of shocking deaths, the carefully polished public masks of these four respectable citizens are ripped away to reveal the heart (and heartlessness) of their carefully concealed selves.
Told from the ever-shifting perspective—at turns sorrowful and comic—of the American husband, Ford Madox Ford’s stylistically perfect novel will keep you guessing until its unsettling end: what is truth and what is façade?