Bruges, bedecked with stiff Madonnas . . . London, going wild in the Twenties . . . Paris, where white powdered faces gleam from cafe tables . . . Against these backdrops unfolds the life of Claud Pickering as he describes his boyhood, dominated by his step-mother Helena, and the complications and compromises, the yearnings and expectations of young adulthood. It is the story of his failed marriage, and it is the story of his passion for Cecil, a singer, who haunts Claud with all the elusiveness - and the destructiveness - of a dream. Too Dear For My Possessing is the first volume in the 'Helena' trilogy, in which Pamela Hansford Johnson demonstrates superbly her considerable powers as a novelist. The story continues in An Avenue of Stone and concludes in A Summer To Decide.