'She's only a bird in a gilded cage,
A beautiful sight to see;
You may think she's happy and free from care,
She's not, tho' she seems to be' After Dinah Garland's husband died in the Boer War, she thought she would never be able to love again, until she meets the confident and daring Warwick Enderby. But those around her are not so disarmed by Warwick's charm and are determined to delve into Mr Enderby's secrets.
Dinah's brother Francis has secrets of his own in the shape of Cecilia Desatti, a young headstrong Italian whose beauty torments him. And young Laura Bates, on the verge of womanhood, has to conceal her love for the boyish Algie from her stern father.
Each becomes trapped by the demands of private emotion and social background. When their secrets are revealed, will it bring heartache or happiness?
Set in the years immediately before the First World War, Birds in a Gilded Cage is the final novel in the Sussex Quarter that began with The Stallion Man.