Ralph, Marnie and Oliver once knew each other as childhood friends. Now they meet again in Ralph's secluded cottage to share the precious days that Ralph has left.
Eleanor Lee is fiercely independent. She has lived alone well into her nineties, despite her now near-total blindness. Now, finally, she has been persuaded by her children to move into a home. She employs Peter, a recent graduate nursing a broken heart, to spend the summer sorting through her attic – papers, photographs, books and letters – ahead of the move.
When Jonny went missing everything changed. His mother's heart is full of terror and sadness instead of joy. His father's study overflows with newspaper cuttings and profiles on missing people instead of the academic texts that were there before. His sister, once carefree, now carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. His bedroom at home remains untouched and ready for his return. The hands on the clock continue to turn and yet Jonny hasn't returned. Where is he?
Eleanor hat ihre Unabhängigkeit weit über den 90. Geburtstag hinaus mit Löwenmut verteidigt, doch dann brennt die fast blinde alte Dame beinahe ihr Haus ab. Sie beschließt, sich dem Wunsch der Familie zu beugen und ihr geliebtes Cottage am Ende der Welt aufzugeben. Aber zwischen all den Büchern und Papieren ihrer Bibliothek steckt etwas, das niemand zu Gesicht bekommen darf - am allerwenigsten ihre Kinder.