This Real Night is the second novel in Rebecca West's trilogy. It is also a perfect novel in its own right. In fact, I think it is darker and more powerful than The Fountain Overflows.
This Real Night moves from the end of the Edwardian era to the outbreak of the Great War. Rose and Mary are getting public engagements as concert pianists, establishing a name for themselves as musicians and earning money. Cordelia is as obnoxious as ever and after flirting with the idea of becoming an art historian - which requires another expensive course - she gets married. Rosamund is nursing and Richard Quin enlists as a soldier. The wonderful Mrs Aubrey is now in decline and characters familiar from The Fountain Overflows resurface. Mr Morpurgo provides financial support, Kate is the loyal servant with a gift for clairvoyance, Nancy Philips pays a visit and Aunt Lily continues to dress in a way which causes small boys to point at her in the street.
I won't give the ending away but keep a tissue handy!