In the first part of the book, her friend Bill Farnsworth has been given the deed to a big fancy hotel in Maine because someone owed him money and couldn't pay cash. He intends to sell the place, but since the staff is under contract for a couple more weeks, he decides to get together a house party, and about 12 of the old gang are invited to have the run of the hotel. This includes, of course, Patty, and nearly everybody else that's been part of the last few books. With one notable exception. Phillip Van Reypen, one of Patty's most serious suitors, is not invited because Bill Farnsworth happens to be the other most serious suitor. Patty is frustrated by their strained politeness to one another, since she's not encouraging serious courtship with anyone.
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