I had a little difficulty getting into this comedy of manners and middle age, as it has a slow start, but once in I thoroughly enjoyed it. Wordy like Henry James but more witty and in some cases out and out funny. Somehow though, not quite the quality of James, although I can't put my finger on why. I like his middle-aged main character, a man returning to Florence in the 1890s, after spending years in the midwest US publishing a newspaper. In Florence, he re-establishes a friendship with the best friend of the woman who had jilted him in Florence 20 years earlier. She is now a widow and a society matron, educating her little girl abroad. And she has a charge, a young woman visiting Florence for her first time, earnest and starry-eyed. The three of them form a mannerly but flirtatious triangle that keeps Florence's English-speaking society guessing.