Madeleine wants revenge: Madeleine wants to be remembered: Madeleine wants love. Who doesn’t? Madeleine is ex-wife and chief perscutor to Jarvis, the architect. Why not? She hates him. Hilary is their daughter, growing fatter and lumpier every day under Madeleine’s triumphant care, witness to the wrongs her mother suffered.
For Jarvis has a new clean life with a new clean wife, Lily, and a nice new baby, Jonathan. The furniture is polished and there is orange juice for breakfast. Jarvis is content, or thinks he is, fending off Madeleine’s forays as best he can. Jarvis has a part-time secretary, too, Margot, now the doctor’s wife, unremembered from the days of her youth. Margot, unacknowledged wife and mother, accepting, tending, nurturing his children and her own, complaisant in her lot.
Until Madeleine, hurling out her dark reproaches from the other side of violent death, uncovers new familial links in the disruption she creates.