John Lewis, a young assistant librarian in the Welsh community of Aberdarcy. Married five and a half years and the father of two small children, he is restless, bored, and vaguely dissatisfied with his lot, play-acting at life rather than living it. Poorly paid and with only the hypochondriac Mrs. Jenkins as baby-sitter, he and his wife are tied down to their crowded, cluttered flat. Although he loves his wife, he has been faithful more through luck than self-restraint, and he readily becomes involved with local socialite Elizabeth Gruffydd-Williams when she displays an interest in him. Her husband has offered to support Lewis in his application for a more prestigious position at the library. Although he is uncomfortable with the idea of Gruffydd-Williams pulling strings to get him the job, Lewis nevertheless takes up with the local crowd of socialites, simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by this rich, reckless, English-acting, party-going crowd. Enthralled by the prospect of fancy cars, beautiful women, and freedom, he imagines that he fits in with this elite group, but they laugh at him behind his back. Eventually realizing the shallow, even dangerous, nature of these pseudo-English Welshmen, he returns with his family to his hometown, finally comfortable with his Welsh heritage.
Elizabeth Gruffydd-Williams, the beautiful black-haired, fair-skinned wife of a...
(The entire section is 606 words.)