Aristide Michal's wife Lotte is not his wife, nor is his son Philippe his son. He is deeply attached to both, and to the modest little Hotel Moderne Aristide he is running in a village in the hills behind Nice and Cannes, with its admirable small restaurant, and its faithful café circle which includes an old Englishman with his own reasons for anger and pity. What happens to Michal himself, to Lotte and Philippe, to the old Englishman, and to the boy Jean in the months before he comes to accept his divided loyalty, forms plot and theme of a work of imagination told with consummate narrative skills.
Storm Jameson (1891- 1986) born to a North Yorkshire family of shipbuilders. Jameson's fiery mother, who bore three girls, encouraged Storm (christened Margaret Storm) to pursue an academic education. After being taught privately and at Scarborough municipal school she won one of three county scholarships which enabled her to read English Literature at Leeds University. She then went on to complete an MA in European Drama at King's College London.
During her career Jameson wrote forty-five novels, numerous pamphlets, essays, and reviews, in an effort to make money. Her personal life suffered, and her first marriage to schoolmaster Charles Douglas Clarke was an unhappy one. After they divorced in 1925, Jameson went on to marry Guy Chapman, a fellow author, and remained with him despite her apparent rejection of normal domestic life.
Storm Jameson was always politically active, helping to publish a Marxist journal in the British section of the International Union of Revolutionary Writers in 1934 and attending anti-fascist rallies.