Charlie, as a recovering alcoholic tries desperately to rebuild his life after his wife's death and his time in isolation.
"After Charlie was released from the sanitarium, he moved to Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he reestablished himself as a businessman."
It is, however, challenging for a reformed drinker to return to his old life and encounter the same friends who shared his passion for alcohol and the party lifestyle.
The only way a reformed drinker can stay sober is to sever all ties with his former life. Going back to Paris poses great temptation for Charlie.
He goes for the purpose of seeing his daughter, Honoria. He wants to get custody back from the Peters.
"Charlie recoils in horror at the memory of the "utter irresponsibility'' of his pre-crash Paris life and breathes a sigh of relief that Alix at the Ritz has not given her his hotel address."
Charlie has an understanding of morals and ethics, but he is unable to maintain his new found freedom from the self destructive choices of the old days once he encounters the Quarrles.
"He seems incapable of shutting Lorraine and Duncan out of his new life, and in his visits to the Peters he displays an ability to self-consciously manipulate his behavior and conversation to win the "points" he needs to get Honoria back."