Years after having an affair that almost ruined their respective marriages, Jane Weatherby and John Pomfret are reunited when their children decide to get married despite questions regarding their possible kinship and the fact that they have almost no money to their name. Afraid that Mary Pomfret and Philip Weatherby are destined for the working-class, Jane and John attempt to stall the development of the wedding plans by having endless conversations about, well, nothing. This gives Jane—a shrewd, resourceful widow—the opportunity to embark on a scheme to lure John away from his current love interest.
As the plot advances through discussions filled with misdirections and omissions, Green demonstrates that there is nothing like the spoken word to conceal one’s true intentions. One of Green’s final novels, Nothing is a worthy addition to the varied tradition of English literature that includes Virginia Woolf and Evelyn Waugh.