Flora Trevelyan is a ten-year-old misfit, despised by her selfish and indolent parents, and left to wander the streets of a small French town whilst her parents prepare to depart for life in colonial India. There she befriends the locals, acquires an extensive vocabulary of French foul language and encounters the privileged lifestyle of the elegant, middle-class British families holidaying in 1920s France.
Introduced for the first time to kindly, civilised and, above all, caring people Flora falls helplessly and hopelessly in love with not one but three young men.
Over the next forty years Flora will grow from an awkward schoolgirl into a stunning beauty and explore, consummate and finally resolve each of these affairs.
Mary Wesley was born near Windsor in 1912. Her education took her to the London School of Economics and during the War she worked in the War Office. Although she initially fulfilled her parent's expectations in marrying an aristocrat she then scandalised them when she divorced him in 1945 and moved in with the great love of her life, Eric Siepmann. The couple married in 1952, once his wife had finally been persuaded to divorce him. She used to comment that her 'chief claim to fame is arrested development, getting my first novel [Jumping the Queue] published at the age of seventy'. She went on to write a further nine novels, three of which were adapted for television, including the best-selling The Camomile Lawn. Mary Wesley was awarded the CBE in the 1995 New Year's honour list and died in 2002.