A Bed of Roses

by William SansomHareoarl, Brace, S3.50.
William Sansom, one of the most gifted of contemporary English novelists, has written a fine, dramatic, sometimes funny story which has to do with love. Louise Abbott decides to put an end to a long, harrowing love affair with Guy, an actor with enormous good looks, charm, and self-assurance who is a disgusting bully and a self-centered cad. Louise sets out on a holiday to Spain only to find that Guy has followed. On the boat she meets a young man of an altogether different cut, and later, in Spain, they become engaged. Meanwhile Guy is tagging around with his latest conquest, the innocent. plumply pretty daughter of a comic manufacturer of sticks and umbrellas. In Barcelona, Guy forces himself into the company of Louise and her fiancé, and the story reaches an abrupt and startling denouement. The Spanish background is a vividly felt presence in the novel, and the descriptions of bullfighting are superb.