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First published in 1924 and a massive best-seller, this is ostensibly the story of a wild young widow with a shady past and a taste for fast cars and adultery, set mostly in Mayfair just as the Twenties began to roar. As well, Arlen muses on the English upper classes, still dazed by the First World War, and regales the reader with philosophical asides and re'ections on the nature of women, drunkenness, doctors who specialize in diseases of the rich, the management of nightclubs, and much more: ?nally delivering a shattering ending to this quest for the true nature of his heroine