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Elizabeth Pringle has lived on the beautiful island of Arran for over 90 year; the retired teacher and spinster is a familiar and yet solitary figure tending her garden and riding her bicycle around the island. When she dies she leaves her beloved house 'Holmlea' to a woman she merely saw pushing a pram down the road over thirty years ago. That young mother Anna had put a letter through Elizabeth's door asking to buy the house but Elizabeth never pursued her. But time passed and Anna is now in a home with dementia and it falls to her daughter Martha, the baby in the pram, to come and take up their inheritance. Martha, in her mid-thirties, is unfulfilled by her job as a journalist, bruised by a bad relationship, and struggling to cope with her mother's encroaching illness, compounded by her younger sister Susie's denial of her mother's worsening condition. 'Holmea,' will be Martha's escape. Once on the island Martha meets a brother and sister Niall and Catriona Anderson and a Buddhist monk called Saul, each of whom leads her closer to Elizabeth while revealing their surprising friendships with this old woman. The house itself, its tapestries and books, gardening notes and letters all help Martha understand Elizabeth...But Elizabeth has left behind a memoir, and Martha is drawn into Elizabeth's past with suprising and heart-breaking revelations. Elizabeth's legacy and Martha's future are more connected than she would ever have thought.