Janet grew up with her father; her mother, she was always told, died when she was three. Her father's stories were of her mother's beauty, their early love - tales stopping short of tragedy. But now, living an ocean away from her childhood home, she unexpectedly inherits a house. The house had belonged to her mother, who in fact lived long into Janet's adulthood. In a state of shock, she travels north with the key: and finds an old stone cottage at the sea's edge. She presumes it will be empty. It is not. Tom was raised by his mother, travelling from one place to another, never settling, his only stability the stories she told him - stories of shapeshifters, danger, impossible love. Now, he hides away in an old stone cottage at the sea's edge, waiting for the woman he knows will come.