It is 1940, and Guy and Harriet Pringle and their friends in the
English colony in Bucharest find their position growing ever
more precarious. The 'phoney war' is over and invasion by the
Germans is an ever-present threat.
Harriet finds her new husband's idealism clashing with her own more down-to-earth attitudes, his generosity to all comers
frustrating her attempts to survive in a city of shortages. Their
easy life among Bucharest's café society is gradually eroded
as rumours become reality, and the Germans match in.
The Spoilt City, the second book in Olivia Manning's acclaimed Balkan Trilogy, is a dramatic and colourful portrait of a city in turmoil - and a sharply perceptive portrait of a young couple struggling to make their marriage work in the face of adversity.