Martin Lynch-Gibbon is a 41-year-old well-to-do wine merchant whose childless marriage to an older woman called Antonia has been one of convenience rather than love. It never occurs to him that his ongoing affair with a young academic called Georgie could be immoral. Displaying quite a number of machopsychoanalyst and a friend of the couple's, with whom she has had a secret affair for quite some time. Lynch-Gibbon moves out of their London house but still does not want to publicize his affair with Georgie, let alone become engaged to her. attributes in his relationships with women, Lynch-Gibbon is shocked when, out of the blue, his wife tells him that she is going to leave him for Palmer Anderson, her
At roughly the same time Cupid's arrow hits Lynch-Gibbon again. This time he falls for Honor Klein, Anderson's half-sister, who is a lecturer in anthropologyCambridge, a woman who, on seeing her for the first time, he remembers finding rather repulsive. Like a man possessed, he follows her to Cambridgewhisky as his constant companion. In the end, however, he realizes that life must—and somehow will—go on. at and, in the middle of the night, breaks into her house, only to find her in bed with her half-brother. When, shortly afterwards, Antonia confesses to him that she has also been sleeping with his older brother Alexander ever since he introduced them to each other ("You mean you didn't know at all? Surely you must have guessed."), Lynch-Gibbon's world starts disintegrating. Despite his being a wine merchant, he chooses whisky as his constant companion. In the end, however, he realizes that life must—and somehow will—go on.