"A guy? I thought you were one of those post-WW2 women who come through the slipstream to sell their prescient novels about the nobility of working mothers. Been there, done that, and I'll never do it again." EE said.
"No sir. My book begins after WW1 at Oxford and ends in the early days of WW2. Charles, my middle-class hero, befriends a upper-class student, Sebastian and his family. Eventually, he beds Julia, Sebastians's sister. It's about the manners and mores of the two young men and their fate in life. "
"Oh dear. That sounds like something you wrote from hunger or privation. This isn't one of those depressingly lyric 'they all died' stories, is it?
"No sir. This is a story about how one man comes to find meaning in life and finds grace in God. You see, Sebastian's father converted to Catholicism to marry a rich widow, then moves to Italy and takes a mistress. His wife raises the children."
"A working mother in prewar Britain. Might work," EE interrupted.
"Hardly, Lady Marchmain fundraises and has jumble sales for the local charities. She is the rock of the family, a stalwart believer. It's her faith that illuminates Lord Marchmain's deathbed conversion. That nearly destroys her children and their lover Charles."
"I see you've titled it: The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder. Profane will sell but that sacred part, what's going on there? You don’t have Episcopal priests running around buggering young boys, do you?" EE asked.
"No sir, in the end Charles returns to the abandoned manor, Brideshead, and gains redemption."
"Sounds depressing. Tell you what, add some three-way sex, gay boys, colorful parties, drug addiction, jazz the title, and you might have winner there. Go revise and come back." EE waved him away.