This is a story of two young people who fall in love - and then life gets in the way. Ursula is part dreamer, part radical in the making. Raised in a matriarchal household by a CND-loving activist, she is impatient to begin a life of adventure. But this is Newcastle in the mid-80s where girls are getting permed and their dreams go no further than copping off down the Bigg Market. Then Ursula meets Jerry, a class warrior from the wrong side of town, intellectually hungry, erudite and ambitious. It is a meeting of bodies, souls, minds and ideals. Keen to pursue the road less travelled, Ursula heads to India while Jerry goes to Oxford and the promise of politics and power. As Ursula searches for answers, she is soon drifting - and Jerry loses touch. What happens to young love when it is tested by real life? The Lightning Tree is a lyrical and funny novel for fans of The Line of Beauty and The Marriage Plot.