Greedy for experience but determined to be good, Flora Dunbar spends a lifetime seeking love, trying to build a future out of the wreckage of her past - an eccentric childhood spent in the shadow of her musical twin, Rory; early marriage to Hugh, a clergyman twice her age; motherhood, which brings her Theo, the son she cannot love; middle-age, when she finds brief happiness in a scandalous affair with her nephew, Colin.
"If you asked my sister-in-law why she hated me, shed say it was because I seduced her precious firstborn then tossed him onto the sizeable scrap-heap marked Floras ex-lovers. But shed be lying. That isnt why Grace hated me. Ask my brother Rory..."