Fifty eight-year-old Beth has lived her life with blinkers on, repressing the memory of a teenage trauma. At the time her mother, Marian, took control of that situation, in the same way she took control of all else in their family life—and as much as she could in the small community of Miners Ridge.
Now Marian is dead, and Beth, unemployed and in the middle of an embarrassing divorce, is living with her gentle-hearted father in the family home. Beth feels obliged to assume her mother’s involvement in the local town hall committee, which becomes a source of new friendships, old friendships renewed, and a considerable amount of aggravation.
Researching town hall history, Beth discovers photographs that show Marian in a surprising light; and sorting through Marian’s belongings, she realises that her mother has left a trail of landmines, cruel revelations that knock the feet out from under those nearest and dearest. Beth struggles to emerge from the ensuing emotional chaos … At almost 60 is it possible to make a fresh start?
A deeply felt, acutely observed novel about mothers and children, about what people hide from themselves and each other, about the richness and difficulties of community, and about becoming your own person.