Clive has died young, in Peru and in circumstances which make some of his many friends uneasy. The congregation gathered for his memorial service is unexpectedly distinguished; amongst the well-known faces and household names are pop stars, actors, politicians and even members of the government. Such a remarkable assembly, with philanthropy and scholarship seated alongside much that is tawdry and merely fashionable, might with only a little license be taken as a version of England.
So how come they all knew Clive - and why does his death make so many of them anxious? Father Jolliffe, the young vicar taking the service, is also in a quandary. As a friend of Clive, and knowing the kind of life he led, what exactly can he say to this gilded but slightly tarnished throng?
It's only when Clive's friends in the congregation begin to stand up and share their memories of the dead man that a number of uncomfortable truths are revealed.
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