A young couple abandon the urban jungle of London’s East End for a remote, mountainous corner of Washington State. Chosen by Mick, who is half American, the place seems as alien as the moon to Rita. But she soon adjusts to raising their small daughter, Frances, in a broken-down cabin without electricity or water, and revels in the untamed beauty of their surroundings.
She’s scared, though, of the wild animals howling and screeching outside by night. What she cannot admit is her fear of Mick’s violent temper. Worse, perhaps, are her own flashes of anger at Frances, frightening losses of control which leave her feeling shaken and guilty. Then she meets Ryan, a redneck poacher who plants in her mind the seed of rebellion.
Jill Dawson explores why women stay in damaging relationships and how patterns of behaviour are passed down the generations in this subtle, compassionate portrait of a young mother struggling to protect her child and of a father destroyed by his own childhood.