At the fashionable German spa town Bad Nauheim, two wealthy, fin de siecle couples — one British, the other American — meet for their yearly assignation. As their story moves back and forth in time between 1902 and 1914, the fragile surface propriety of the pre — World War I society in which these four characters live is ruptured — revealing deceit, hatred, infidelity, and betrayal. "The Good Soldier" is Edward Ashburnham, who, as an adherent to the moral code of the English upper class, is nonetheless consumed by a passion for women younger than his wife — a stoic but fallible figure in what his American friend, John Dowell, calls "the saddest story I ever heard."
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