Say these words quickly: London, female, Barcelona, male admirers, abortion, jealousy, love, lust, murder, anti-Semitism, Spanish Civil War, alcoholism. This shows you precisely the fast pace and content of the story. The main female character, Meredith, certainly leads a gin-soaked, eventful life with her entourage of male admirers, all of whom wish to become the 'Mr Meredith' of her life. By the end of the story, she may get what she wants. It's not a rags-to-riches story, but one of determination and genuine love at first sight.
There was just enough self-loathing in Harry Bowden to make him tolerable to Meredith. She couldn't have endured so much time in his company without it. It was always a pleasure to take the floor with Royle; he had finesse. As he guided her round the crowded room their bodies barely touched. He danced to show her off to the other men. Drunk or sober, Royle would always cut a decent figure on the small dance floor of the Paradise Club. When it was Lawler's turn, he drew her to him like a father, gentle and encouraging. She reciprocated by holding him with the formality of the old friend he was, not the lover he had always wanted to be .... Her mind took her back to the bar three hours before and the man standing beside Arthur. His clothes were terrible. There was nothing conventionally appealing about his looks. Perhaps she held his gaze for two seconds, but now she wanted to be with him and only with him and she wanted it with a sudden fierce hunger.