From his experiences as a naval officer in battles off Okinawa during World War II, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It was a time when publishing was still a private affair—a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe—a time of gatherings in fabled apartments, parties into the night. It is a world in which to immerse himself, a world of intimate connections and surprising triumphs. But the deal that Philip cannot seem to close is love: one marriage goes bad; another fails to happen; and, finally, he meets a woman who enthralls, then betrays him, setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.
All that is – James Salter