When Ruth and Gray meet as children while their parents play at being adults in a rackety old Bohemian house, an electricity passes between them that neither will ever forget.
Their paths soon separate as Gray moves to Paris with his girlfriend, and Ruth finds Liam, a sensible and long-suffering friend with whom she falls in love.
But Ruth's eccentric upbringing lingers into adulthood.
Affected by her old Aunt Jane's passion for poetry, Ruth embarks on a comprehensive book of Twentieth Century poets' lives.
Soon, Ruth's thoughts become haunted by the lives of the poets and dreamers she writes about, as the self-destructive talents of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Philip Larkin begin to influence her in unexpected ways.
Until one day, she meets Gray, and their historic chemistry is fired up once again.
Joughin's exquisite sense of place, her comic eye and wry, erotic prose are prime ingredients in this page-turning novel full of vivid characters, elegance and humanity.