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A man of innate taste and discrimination, Edward has become an art dealer and collector of fine antiques and paintings. During his first six idyllic years he was the centre and focus of his mother's existence. Betrayals and unhappiness in subsequent years have led him to form almost fetishistic attachments to beautiful objects, as a substitute for the human relationships that have invariably failed him.

Now in his late forties, on a holiday in Sicily, Edward falls deeply in love with a young English-Italian artist, but he has not yet learned that there is a difference between loving and possessing.

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