Nicholas Jenkins narrates the story of his school days in England in the 1920s.
Not much happens in this story. At school, Jenkins hangs out with his two friends - Charles Stringham and Peter Templer. They play a prank on their annoying housemaster and they laugh about their odd classmate Widmerpool. At the end of the term, Jenkins first visits with Templer's family; then spends the summer in France with friends of his family, where he encounters Widmerpool and begins to reassess his opinion of him. When Jenkins returns to school, he finds that he and his friends have drifted apart.
This book stands alone, but it seems incomplete. Each scene seemed disconnected from the others until at least two-thirds through the novel - almost like a collection of short stories.
However, I enjoyed the individual scenes, I enjoyed Powell's prose, and I enjoyed the characters, which I am told will reappear and develop throughout the series.
I am ready for Book 2.