In the unforgiving class system of the 1950s, Lucy de Bourgh, daughter of one of Rhode Island's first families, married Thomas Snow, son of a Newport garage owner. It hardly mattered that Thomas was a graduate of Harvard Business School, or that he went to work for a great Wall Street firm and succeeded beyond expectations. In Lucy's eyes, he remained irremediably a 'townie.' Decades later, a chance meeting brings Lucy together with Philip, our narrator. He remembers her as a ravishing, funny, ready-for-anything hellion with a well-earned reputation for generosity with sexual favors. He also remembers Thomas, killed in a freak accident years after his and Lucy's divorce, and is shocked to hear Lucy refer to Thomas insistently as 'that monster.' How is he to reconcile that unexpected and overflowing reservoir of bitterness and resentments with his own memories? Almost against his will, Philip sets out on a quest that soon becomes an obsession to discover who exactly these friends were, and what happened in their marriage. Through Philip's patient probing, a brilliant portrait emerges of Begley's heroine: infinitely complex, irresistible as well as insufferable, capable of extremes of arrogance and submission, and driven by sexual appetites she cannot control. Lucy de Bourgh is without doubt one of Begley's strongest and most outrageous creations.