It's not that Martha Bone doesn't like children. It's more that they don't fit into her world: her shop, with its succession of beautiful distressed antiques; her flat, with its creamy sofa, its unwashable linen scatter-cushions, its aura of oatmeal and sand. Her sisters don't understand how she can live her life as she does, shut away like that, so emotionally enclosed, but Martha smooths the Durham quilt on her Victorian cast-iron bed and thinks everything looks just fine. More than fine. Perfect. But then things start happening. A death. A cat. A girl with chocolately fingers. A box of old letters. The re-emergence of an old boyfriend. Martha begins to investigate her past and discovers you can only paper over the cracks for so long.