Two wildly dysfunctional pairs of adult siblings find the paths of their lives colliding with volatile results in this quiet psychological thriller. Anthony Verey, a once-successful and sought-after London antiques dealer whose life is now on the decline, takes refuge in the company of his sister, Veronica. Veronica now lives a happy, quiet life in the Cévennes region of southern France with her lover, Kitty, an amateur watercolorist. Anthony’s trespassing on their lives causes friction between Veronica and Kitty, who cannot understand Veronica’s unswerving loyalty to the unpleasant and arrogant Anthony. When Anthony, seduced by the landscape, determines to sell off the remains of his life in London and buy a house in the area, Kitty is dismayed. Anthony’s rigid perfectionism means that only one house fits his standards…the Mas Lunel, owned now by aging Aramon. Aramon’s sister, Audrun, lives in a ramshackle house on the same property. The two have a long and brutally abusive history and Audrun is simply waiting for Aramon to die so that she can claim the Mas. But Anthony’s interest in purchasing the building and land threatens that goal, and only disaster can result.
Deeply flawed characters and a vivid, though untamed and arid setting perfectly complement Tremain’s tale of dark secrets and years-long grudges come to a head.