From her hospital bed in Dublin, the elderly Dilly awaits the visit of her daughter, Eleanora, from London. The epochs of her life pass before her; she also retraces Eleanora’s precipitate marriage to a foreigner, which alienated mother and daughter, and Dilly's heart rending letters sent over the years in a determination to reclaim her daughter. But Eleanora’s visit does not prove to be the glad reunion Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship—a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close.
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