When pillar-of-the-community Harry Stewart dies of a sudden heart attack, the whole village is devastated - except for his maligned wife, Karen, the only one who really knew the abusive alcoholic Harry had become.
Suddenly freed from this oppressive marriage, Karen is nonetheless wracked with guilt about her final argument with her husband and sees the presence of her spoiled stepdaughter, Sophia, as a suitable purgatory. Her only comfort in her grief and isolation is William, the sympathetic local vicar.
As Karen shares her burdens, William's listening ear soon becomes a shoulder to cry on, and before long Karen realises she is falling in love. But William has a wife and young children, not to mention a parish to watch over - and be watched by.
As the pressure becomes too much to bear, Karen flees to the seaside. But when a chance encounter brings William back into her life, can they persuade each other to take one final leap of faith?
"Boyd is as canny as Joanna Trollope at observing family life - and better than Trollope at jokes." (Daily Mail)
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