Filth – short for ‘Failed in London, Try Hong Kong’ – is building his career in Hong Kong. When he meets Elisabeth, he knows that she is to be his wife. Betty is like Filth a Raj orphan, growing up in the eastern part of the empire and never really accustomed to the British lifestyle, she is a free spirit. Nevertheless, she agrees to marrying this promising young man, even though she hardly knows him and has a lot of doubts. On the evening of the proposal, she gets to know Veneering and regrets that she had consented to marry and never leave Filth only a couple of hours before. Her whole life she will be oscillating between the two men, enemies in business matters and private life alike, until she finally resolves to stop lying.
The second novel in Jane Gardam’s trilogy about Filth and Betty and the fall of the British Empire. Here we get the opposite side of the story, told from Betty’s point of view and thus we see a lot of things in a completely different light. The tone, again, is wonderful and fits the setting perfectly. A novel just to enjoy and to indulge in.