Charles meets the gregarious homosexual Sebastian at University and he is invited to visit his family manor Brideshead. Charles is then swept into Sebastian's upper class world inhabited by Sebastian's overbearing Catholic mother Lady Marchmain, older sister Julia, and younger siblings. Sebastian is attracted to Charles, who is smitten by Julia. The three travel to Italy to visit Sebastian's father and his mistress. There Charles and Julia share a kiss, while a jealous and angry Sebastian watches. Returning to Brideshead, Lady Marchmain disapproves of any pairing happening between her daughter and Charles, since Charles is not Catholic. Meanwhile, Sebastian has been drinking excessively, Lady Marchmain blames Charles for his bad behavior, and is asked to leave. Charles becomes an artist and marries someone else. Julia marries a nobleman. When their paths cross again, they have an affair. Ready to leave their spouses they plan to run away together, but Julia who is a devout Catholic, backs out at the last minute. Years later, Charles is fighting for the British and finds himself back at Brideshead, now a WWII outpost. He learns that Sebastian is dead and that Julia is abroad working for the war service. He contemplates his times spent at the manor and how his true love slipped from his fingers.
Best part of story, including ending:
I enjoy period pieces set in England, depicting a lost time and place featuring nobility and extravagant settings.
Best scene in story:
When the boys are bathing in the fountain, and then Charles sees Julia for the first time.
Opinion about the main character:
Charles was blinded by the allure of the rich. Julia to him was unattainable, thus more desirable.