It is 1990. Annie is a 31 year old Scottish lawyer living in Edinburgh’s New Town and at the centre of a tight group of friends: Kirsty, from Galloway farming stock and her husband Duncan, a bordering alcoholic lawyer, who never quite measures up in his father’s eyes, and Virginia and her husband Gordon, living a bohemian life in fashionable Stockbridge with a passion for sustainable living.
Annie’s father left the family home when she was a teenager, leaving Annie feeling abandoned and unwanted. As a result she spurns any opportunity for love and resists change to her safe and ordered life. At the same time she remains fearful that she could end up like her increasingly embittered mother.
When she meets her friends’ new neighbour, James, she finds him attractive but is fearful of commitment. He is 10 years older, a slightly irascible and frustrated senior civil servant with a passion for political change. Annie begins to understand his convictions in particular the importance of land, connectivity and a feeling of place. His unfolding caring and compassionate nature begins to tear down her defences and they fall in love.
But will Annie’s desire to keep her life ordered, and stable, end up sabotaging her happiness? Over the course of the next fifteen years, she will confront a series of challenges and find out what really matters.