Monica Jensen surprises everyone who knows her - including her husband - when she accept an offer to teach at a boys' school in Pennsylvania. A she moves into her new
rambling house, Sheila Trask, a wild-looking figure in jodhpurs, appears and invites herself in. Sheila, a painter, has long baffled the neighbours with her strange habits and Monica finds herself confused between feelings of intense dislike and powerful attraction.
But as Monica settles into the community Sheila's exhausting attentions gradually become a source of energising insight: into Monica's own "golden girl" past, and into the dark Nietzschean insolence of Sheila's artistic vision. As the solstice approaches and the evenings lengthen, together the women make a journey of intense friendship with potential alarming consequences.