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Nicholas Urfe accepts a teaching post on a beautiful, remote Greek island, in order to escape an unsatisfactory love affair. He meets the enigmatic Maurice Conchis, who introduces him to the exquisitely lovely Lily, his ideal of the perfect woman. But is she flesh or fantasy? As the past bleeds into the present, he finds it increasingly difficult to distinguish reality from imagination. Under the spell of this magic isle and its presiding spirit, he struggles to understand the rules of the mysterious game into which he is drawn.