“If there is one thing I love in a man,” declares Fleming Ford, “it is decrepitude.” An Alabama native who has just relocated from New York City to southern California so that her geologist husband can search for water in the Mojave Desert, Fleming is forty, the mother of two children with another on the way, and in a state of malaise brought on by the enervating euphoria of her new environment. In her former boss, seventy-something Mr. Lieberman, a recently widowed British mogul and a fellow-exile, Fleming finds the comfort of Old World grace and assuagement of her nostalgia for lost times and places. Will she risk her honor and marriage for the love of an aging tycoon as she capitulates to the West Coast’s seductive paradise amid the palm trees?
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