"Bedford's genius is for writing about people. [Her] excellence is immortal, her career one of great distinction in literature."-Peter Levi.. In this sequel to The Favourite of the Gods, seventeen-year-old Flavia, on her own in the south of France in the late 1930s, lives with the confidence and ardor of youth. She knows her destiny-it lies at Oxford, where she will begin a great career of public service. But this view of herself is at odds with reality; it springs from ideas she has of her idolized English father and of her "blessed" Italian mother, Constanza. Only when she is caught up in an intrigue that is to determine the fate of those she most loves does she begins to discover her own true nature-even as she loses the bearings of her moral compass.