Between the Acts
Fiction The author’s last novel, written during the early years of World War II, was completed just before her death. The action takes place on a single summer’s day at a country house, Pointz Hall, in the heart of England. In the garden the villagers are presenting their annual pageant - on this occasion scenes from English history up to and including ‘ourselves,’ the audience, in June 1939. During the interludes the inhabitants of Pointz Hall, the Olivers, their guests, and the villagers have tea, stroll, and talk. There is an intense interplay among the unhappy Isa Oliver, her handsome husband, Giles, whom she loves and hates, and a guest, Mrs. Manresa, who is pursuing him. A storm interrupts the final tableau, and the pageant comes to an end. The performers and the audience depart to resume their ordinary lives and Isa and Giles to confront each other.