Through the spiritual trials of two troubled stepbrothers, Iris Murdoch conducts an inventive allegorical exploration of morality.
Stuart Cuno has decided to become good. Not believing in God, he invents his own methods, which include celibacy, chastity and the abandonment of a promising academic career. At the same time, Stuart’s step-brother Edward Baltram is tormented by guilt because he has, he believes, killed his best friend. He dreams sometimes of redemption, sometimes of the most drastic of solutions - suicide.