This book is about two sister who represent sophistication (sophia) and consistency (Constance).
Bennett evidently saw an old lady in a restaurant and the fact that she was old and ugly made him think that all old women are ugly, and so women who were once beautiful and are now ugly must be depressed. His purpose of showing the sad story every old woman has because she is now old, and used to be beautiful is contradicted by the story he tells. It is an exemplary work for sexism and ageism.
The sisters live very different lives and then they die. I have no idea what bennett was trying to say with this book, mostly but what i got from it was that no matter how different you are and what kind of life you lead, you end up the same in the end. with this kind of book that follows someone through their life, the end of the life is supposed to be the most poignant and instructional. in this book it appears to be that old people are fragile, pathetic, and die ignoble deaths. Sophia has a point in the book where she wishes that she was dead but doesn't want to die. This conundrum would be a good plot for exploration, but instead bennett puts her into a coma and kills her in the next page.
I could see it on a list of the best 100 books of any given year, but of the 20th century, that is a joke.