Nina has taken time off from her job as a news photographer to be with her convalescing sister Isabel. Isabel has just given birth to a son and she is looking for emotional support. She, her husband Richard and the baby are at a seaside estate where it is hoped Isabel's health will recover, when they ask Nina to come and help out. Nina is having an affair with Richard and despite Isabel's frail health they pursue their tryst with an almost shameless regularity often within earshot of Isabel.
Meanwhile, Isabel's health is failing, she lacks the desire to care for her newborn, and she takes to wandering off from the manorhouse.
With a sense of impending doom the mood of the novel darkens and the forgotten past events from childhood that are troubling Nina slowly come back to her.
This report prepared by David Fletcher