They were just schoolgirls - evacuees - when they first met the Reid brothers. Berry was the one who dazzled them - handsome, funny, sexy, he somehow symbolized that golden summer of the war when they all worked together on the farm. Then their world collapsed around them.
Morag, the strongest and quietest of the three girls, lost everything she held dear in one savage bombing. Vallery's beloved brother was killed in the desert war, and Jannie - well, Jannie had never had much to start with anyway. With a father away at war and a succession of 'uncles' passing through her mother's bedroom, she grew up both insecure and promiscuous. But still, she had Morag and Vallery.
When the Reid boys returned from the war it was Berry, the vibrant one, who had changed. Crippled, both in mind and body, he held the dream of Morag in his mind, even though it was Vallery he married. As they settled to a life in the remote cliff-side Abbey, away from everyone, so the old ties between the three girls and the Reid brothers grew more intense, more confused - and Morag, Vallery and Jannie discovered that Berry still had the power to draw them all to him.
'Sallis's West Country novel has the feel of Mary Wesley and character insight that is all her own'