Summary of Sunflower
A beautiful actress of the 1920s faces painful decisions about her lovers and her future in Rebecca West’s posthumously published semi-autobiographical novel
Star of the stage, Sunflower has everything but the attention she craves from her long-time—and married—lover, Lord Essington, a brilliant and intense man occupied with more intellectual thoughts. Eager for a more rewarding experience, Sunflower must decide whether another “great man,” the Australian Francis Pitt, will offer a more traditional relationship and happiness. Written during West’s own psychoanalysis and never finished, Sunflower ponders topics of the power struggle between the sexes, and a woman’s freedom to determine her romantic destiny.
Drawn heavily from West’s own relationships with H.G. Wells and Lord Beaverbrook, this roman à clef gives a glimpse of the author’s own struggle to find a satisfying relationship.