Driven by dreams of literary success, George Webber has left his provincial hometown to make his name as a writer in New York City. When his first novel is published, it brings him the fame he has sought, but it also brings the censure of his neighbors back home, who are outraged by his depiction of them. Unsettled by their reaction and unsure of himself, Webber begins a search for a greater understanding of his artistic identity that takes him deep into New York's social whirl; to London with an uninhibited group of expatriates; and to Berlin, lying cold and sinister under Hitler's shadow. He discovers a world on the brink of transformation, yet finds the capacity to meet it with optimism and a renewed love for his birthplace. He is awake to the knowledge that one can never fully go back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time.
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