Life had turned out pretty well for Kitty. Secure in her marriage, with her two teenage children and a house within sound and sight of the Cornish surf, she counted herself among the lucky ones. But the hole left by that first baby wasn't getting any smaller, and she decided to make the first, tentative steps towards filling it - although she, and all her family, were quite unprepared for the upheaval which followed.
But into Nina's new, carefree life some disturbing elements began to appear. A flasher had been accosting young girls on the nearby common, leaving every man in the area under suspicion. Home, to Nina, no longer felt so safe. And Joe, during one of his oh-so-civilised monthly lunches with Nina, revealed that the new love in his life, pin-thin, power-dressed Catherine, had decided that she now required a baby. But babies, Joe told Nina, were what he did with her: a remark that Nina found oddly unsettling...
Clare is more than usually ready for her holiday. Her daughter, Miranda, is hitting adolescence bigtime, and her husband Jack is harbouring unsettling thoughts of a change in lifestyle. No wonder that Clare is contemplating a bit of extra-marital adventure, possibly with Eliot, the successful, heavy-drinking author in the adjoining holiday property.
Unexpected disasters occur, revelations are made and, as the summer ends, real life will never be quite the same again.
When Nell was a student, she and Patrick were a serious item. They were inseparable, and she really thought he was The One. But then Alex came along...the safer, more restful option, and thanks to her over-controlling mother she opted for him instead.
Now nothing is going right. Alex has left her to live in New York with a younger, blonder woman. Escaping to the Caribbean for a recuperative holiday, she is mugged at Gatwick and her bag is stolen. It's crisis time - and she makes two decisions:
First - she will take lessons in self-defence.
Second - she will try and find Patrick again.
Is she trying to put the past behind her- or setting out to ruin her future?