Modest and reliable George Bland faces retirement, surprised to find himself suddenly alone and uncertain. But his solitude is brusquely overturned when the invasive and mercurial Katy Gibb appears. Katy, by turns sulky girl and sultry woman, offers George a last chance for a adventure, an abandonment of discretion and responsibility. In the contest of wills that follows, George discovers his true nature, his enormous capacity for compromise and self-deception. The result is a novel rich in understanding of human complexity and of the desire to take charge of one's own destiny.