It's a hot and sunny springtime, perfect for a wedding.
But out of sight the clouds are darkening, massing as they bear down on the clear sky over Lucy Rossington's new home.
Beautifully restored, the ancient farmhouse and grounds at Withern seem idyllic as friends gather there.
Ebullient actress Anna Evesleigh, who flits from interest to interest, is given the first inkling of a purpose in life that she had never expected (or wanted). She even seems to be getting on better with Mike Shannon, the irascible archaeologist who finds her so irritating.
But although Hugh Carey is unaware of it, absorbed in his own concerns, Anna knows that Lucy, his wife, is struggling with issues that could change her life and those around her.
The storm that breaks so unexpectedly over them all could not have been predicted.
Its seeds were sown long ago, and nobody could have told how they would burst forth in death and destruction. And for Lucy this trouble is the last straw. She finally makes a choice that may change the lives of them all.