Following a violent and messy divorce, young Maisie Farange floats back and forth between her parents, Beale and Ida, who use her as a weapon to torment each other in their ongoing, internecine war. Eventually the parents both remarry, and it becomes clear that the new spouses care more for Maisie than her own parents. Beale and Ida soon embark on a series of extramarital affairs, leaving Maisie in the care of the new stepparents, who begin their own affair with each other. What Maisie Knew is a remarkable tour de force from James’s late-middle period, and an insightful look at the psyche of a child who is thrust into the adult world of drama and failed relationships.