• Fleur Talbot, a writer working on her first novel, rents a small room strewn with books and has been having an ongoing affair with Leslie, whose wife, Dottie, she has also befriended.
• Fleur begins a new job working for Sir Quentin Oliver at the Autobiographical Association, where she will be editing manuscripts of memoirs that are not to be published for 70 years.
• Fleur meets Beryl Tims, Sir Quentin's assistant and Lady Edwina, his mother, a very colorful, eccentric old woman.
• Fleur meets some of the members of the Autobiographical Association; she has started editing their manuscripts and manages her boredom by making the manuscripts worse.
• Fleur realizes that much of Lady Edwina's erratic behavior is a show for those she doesn't like, and they begin a friendship.
• Fleur observes and gets to know the members of the Association, among them an ex-priest and a woman with...
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