This is a story of a bourgeois British family and their attempts to contain and control the actions of their relations. The story opens with the widow Lilia Herriton embarking on a trip with her traveling companion Caroline Abbott. In reality Lilias family connived her into going on a trip to distract her from a relationship with a gentleman who does not meet their social scrutiny. But while in Italy a worse disaster befalls the family as Lilia falls in love and marries a younger Italian man. When Lilia dies during child birth the family must somehow retrieve the child, who is but a mere pawn in their charade of control and manipulation.
Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy and also the attitudes towards gender and homosexuality in early 20th-century British society.