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It is a literary book. Mrs Tramore leaves her husband and children to live on the Mediterranean with another man. Mr Charles Tramore does not re-marry, and the children are brought up by their aunt Julia and their grandmother. When the ‘other man’ dies in a boating accident without having married Mrs Tramore, she returns to London but is shunned by polite society. The Tramore family act as if Mrs Tramore no longer exists, but when her father dies, Rose Tramore decides to rehabilitate her mother socially. Despite the objections and threats of her aunt and grandmother, Rose decides she will go to live with her mother – as a result of which her grandmother bans her from the house for disobedience. Rose is visited by her already-rejected admirer Captain Jay, who also pleads with her not to take up with her mother (possibly with an eye on the fact that the family might disinherit her). She rejects his offer of marriage again – more forcefully. Rose lives in unoccupied seclusion with her mother, but she turns down invitations to socialize because they are addressed to her personally, not to her mother. She wishes to challenge society’s attitudes towards a woman who has incurred social disgrace.