They were handicapped, and although this might not matter for Amy Durrant it mattered terribly for the daughter, who had, past infancy, never known a father, and was thus eternally unprepared for the rules of engagement between the sexes in the least predictable and sentimental of games.
Brookner, Fraud, ch. 2
The rules of engagement... Always interesting to find Brookner utilising or, as here, anticipating the titles of her other novels.