This is the story of a marriage between two Britons, Olivia and Thomas. The first part of the novel takes place in London, on the brink of war, bracing for invasion. It ends with a bomb that would have killed Olivia, had Olivia not been spending the night with her married lover, Felix. Part Two opens in 1952, after the war, but with the effects of the war still haunting the survivors as well as the landscape. Thomas and Olivia, now married with children, have traveled to the south coast of France, to have what might be their delayed honeymoon. But their marriage has cooled down almost to the point of dying out. The central event of the novel is an attempt by Thomas to rescue a stranger seen drowning out at sea.The couple s future will depend on the outcome of this impetuous act of bravery."