'Agnes Borrowdale, seventy-five years old a week on Tuesday, hoisted herself onto the window sill and perched astride it, gripping the wooden frame.' After her escape from the old people's home where she has been placed by her son, Jack, and his new partner, Monica, Agnes's quest to find her grandchildren develops in ways she could never have predicted. Among the new friends she makes on her journey are: Joe, the helpful lorry driver; Molly, the garrulous proprietor of a small, run-down hotel; Gazza, the student whose sprained ankle may have serious consequences for Agnes; and Felix, the retired barrister's clerk, whom Agnes pulls back from attempted suicide. Hoping to rekindle his desire to live, she invents the Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society, but soon fears that this falsehood, having acquired a momentum of its own, will end in tragedy. Meanwhile, Jack, frantically trying to trace his missing mother, spends a night in a police cell on a drunk-driving charge, while an over-zealous young policeman begins to suspect him of a more serious crime.