When James proposes, it seems like an opportunity for Jane to leave her lonely past behind and become part of a family. But the presence of a woman in the cottage near their remote farmhouse threatens Jane's new-found happiness. This compelling novel by one of Ireland's finest writers won a Somerset Maugham Award. "Madden's achievement is to make partial revelations about obscure lives as gripping as a thriller. Her style is passionate, emotional, but never obvious and does not admit a single cliche or badly written sentence". (Observer).