Doug and Dulcie Bysshe are twins. Doug is a successful film star living in the South of France, contemplating a new part as a saintly doctor in an African leper colony. Dulcie, busy and energetic, is fighting to retrieve her husband, the mournful and ineffective Pike, who has absconded to Nice with the adolescent Cherrimay Pugh. At the center of events is the Gooseboy, a creature with a double facehalf faun, half deformed horror. In pithy and particular prose, A.L. Barker shrewdly questions the relations between the flesh and the spirit, the ridiculous and the terrible. A.L. Barker’s debut, Innocents, won the first Somerset Maugham award in 1947; in 1969, her novel John Brown’s Body was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.