On Coronation night in 1953 the ex-pat community in Hong Kong gathers for a celebration party. While they strain to listen to the proceedings on a faulty wireless,
twenty-one-year-old Joy falls in love. She is engaged within twenty-four hours, but will not see her fiancé again for a year. In 1980 eighteen-year-old Kate's rebellion is to run away from County Wexford with her illegitimate child. Fifteen years later Sabine leaves trendy Hackney to visit the grandparents she has never known, and finds that time in Wexford seems to have stood still. When Sabine, her mother and grandmother are brought together, a deeply buried family secret is discovered - as well as some fundamental truths: about the conflict between love and duty, about women's choices, and about mothers and daughters.