This magical story, told in the elevated tone of a fable, begins with a visit by a teenage boy to the home of 75-year-old Matilda. She tells him the story of her life with Feather, a man who lived by the sea and had a great affinity for birds and wild creatures. She speaks of her love for him and how, long ago, she had become pregnant but miscarried, and he left her. Her grief was inconsolable for a very long time and she longed to find Feather to ask him, "How can you know love, and lose it, and go on living without it, and not feel the loss for ever?" She eventually finds Feather and he answers her question, and in doing so helps her to deal with her overwhelming loss.