In the summer of 1983, Olivia and Eve find a baby in a phone box beside a country road in Suffolk. The girls are nineteen, on holiday and staying with a young medical student, James. The events of that summer cast a long shadow over their careers, marriages and motherhood. When they meet again 25 years later, the baby in the phone box returns to haunt them, and they are forced to confront the truth that has remained silent all this time. The Partridge and the Pelican explores motherhood, secrets and the enduring ties of friendship.