In 1921, London, Julia Howard is just like the paper doll her father created in her image for his toy factory: perfectly assembled, well behaved, and lacking personality. Mr. Howard’s once-flourishing business now faces bankruptcy, so he hires a new manager, Doctor Martin Lee-Tafford, emotionally scarred from the war. Martin and Julia feel an instant connection to one another, but Julia soon marries wealthy businessman Latham Miller to please her ailing father. Latham, naturally, proves to be possessive, calculating and unfaithful. Julia and Martin meet one day, and they easily enter into an illicit affair. Sure that Latham will never let her go, Julia suffers in her marriage while Martin moves on and re-enters the field of doctoring.
While the story has great promise, Woods only touches the surface of some of the more interesting aspects, like Martin’s recovery. Julia’s constant naivety and lack of backbone create a rather frustrating heroine. For example, when Latham decides to transform her father’s beloved toy factory into a domestic wares factory, she barely bats an eye. Despite the hardships in her life, Julia meekly does as she’s told, even when abused. She only makes her own decisions at the very end of the story, when convenient plot developments make the story unravel a bit too neatly. Like a paper doll, this story is a bit stiff, artificial, and easily forgotten when more exciting enticements present themselves.