A love tale set in the New York of 1917. A rich girl picks up a mysterious beggar. She treats her to a good meal and some new clothing. When rich chick’s boyfriend sees here there, and offers a compliment the party is over and rich chick send rag doll on her way. However rich chick’s friend follows the waif and directs her to a milliner where she begins a successful career. Trouble begins when the rich chick’s boyfriend happens by and re-sparks the attraction. Things lead to other things and waif winds up preggers as the guy is heading off to WW I. Rich chick, never the most stable, deteriorates on news of her boyfriend’s demise, then recovers somewhat when news of his death proves premature. But she has been deteriorating for a while now and when her friend informs her that her (now) husband has a child with the waif, it is too much. She snaps in a startling ending.
This is a short book, a very quick read, but very engaging and satisfying despite its brevity. One shortcoming for me was that the author floats so high above the characters. Also, the mystery of the waif prevented me from identifying too much. I was always wondering if she was at root a baddie. Also, and this is not a criticism but an observation, all the action in the book is external. It is as if it had been written primarily as a screenplay rather than a novel.