Zoe Blundell, an attractive, elegant woman in her late thirties. Convinced that after fourteen years of marriage, her husband Theodore is as tired of her as she is irritated with him, Zoe avoids him as much as possible, going out every night with her male friends. At first, she is enthusiastic about a second honeymoon in Paris; however, she quarrels with her husband about his choice of a hotel. After he leaves her, Zoe goes to the Continent on her own. During the final weeks of her stay there, she is joined by Ferris, who becomes her lover. Back in London, she learns from Ethel that Ferris had virtually proposed marriage to her. Blaming herself, Zoe tells Ferris to forget about her and to marry the younger woman. When Theodore rejects her, however, Zoe changes her mind and decides to marry Ferris after all. At his apartment, she learns that he has just formalized his engagement to Ethel. Realizing that he will be miserable if he marries her instead, she declines the offer he has been forced to make and leaps from the balcony, killing herself.
Theodore Blundell, her husband, a forty-six-year-old stockbroker. His love for Zoe has dwindled into affection, unexpressed admiration, and frequent irritation. He is obtuse about women in general and his wife in particular. Theodore cannot see how much she craves attention and praise from him, and he has no inkling of how desperate she is. At Mottram’s suggestion, he tries to pay her compliments and even agrees to take her to Paris. He spoils everything, however, by insisting that they stay at an inferior hotel. A quarrel ensues, and he walks out. Theodore is soon snapped up by a woman in her twenties. Eventually, he gets rid of her, intending to return to Zoe. Though she is...
(The entire section is 734 words.)