When Celia Banks’ son Ian turns up with the unexpected consequence of a brief fling, she has no choice but to take the baby in.
Cephas’s arrival is just the latest challenge for Cecilia. There is her cancer, for a start, an illness shared with her novelist friend Helen, whose observations of Cecilia’s family life reveal a somewhat ambivalent attitude to motherhood. Meanwhile Cecilia’s husband is taking self-effacement to extremes, and Ian risks losing his best chance at happiness.
But Cecilia is not alone. In a convent in Hastings sits the aged Sister Diana Clegg who holds the ties that bind everyone together. As events unfold, nothing and no one remains unchanged.