Suzie, a widow with two grown-up daughters, has made a success of her life – until, at a public event, she is faced by the man she last saw as a teenager, forty years ago. James, once a history student, is now an Anglican priest in Oxford, battling his own demons and trying to mend the sins of the past.
When he says he wants to find the child Suzie gave up for adoption in the 1960s, her shock turns to fury. After what he did – and after such a betrayal – how dare he even ask? Determined to spell things out for James, Suzie has questions of her own. The answers change her perspective, but if she agrees to search for her adopted son, she must face her own guilt as well as fears that her son may, in turn, reject her. Over the succeeding months, she and James grow closer. The old attraction isn’t dead, and while desire battles with resentment on Suzie’s part, James is struggling with principle and belief.
From rural Yorkshire to the tragic world of mother-and-baby homes, the past takes Suzie to the bright lights of London, life with her artist husband, and back to recent times in York. But only when she’s faced with death in the high Pennines, can she begin to heal; and only when James has laid the past to rest, can he begin to forgive himself.