Rowena Crale and her family have moved from London.
They now live in a small English village in a cottage which seems to be resisting all attempts at renovation.
Walls ooze damp, stains come through layers of wallpaper, celings sag.
And strange noises – voices – emanate from empty rooms.
As Rowena struggles with the upheaval of builders while trying to be a dutiful wife and a good mother to her young children, her life starts to disintegrate.
And then, one by one, her daughters go missing …
Cecilia is obsessively in love with her teacher, the older, married Mr. Dahl. She plots and speculates, yet she never guesses that what she dreams of could actually happen. Is it her imagination, or is the high-minded Mr. Dahl responding to her?
Cecilia’s mother Dora wants the good life. She and her husband moved to Dartmoor so their children could run wild, free to make their own choices and mistakes. But Dora discovers that there is more to the countryside idyll, and indeed to her own marriage, than she assumed, when she finds herself fascinated by the very last, the very worst person she could fall for: the elegant and dangerous Elisabeth Dahl.
Now, after twenty years, Cecilia is coming home, to face Dora, and to face her past. But the excitement and pain she had thought were buried cannot be buried. The past is a dangerous place.