A deeply moving and resonant novel about the power of love and family feeling in the face of suffering and change.
A beloved only child, Sarah was brought up on a wild island, where the people were as one with the landscape and where her father, George, farmed geese. After her mother died of cancer, he brought her up alone, but their lives were further twisted by trouble after Sarah was jilted by Zeke, an island boy, who left her pregnant and devastated. Shortly afterwards, Zeke was killed in a car crash, and Sarah fled the island for a new life on the mainland, leaving her father feeling rejected and angry.
Now, fourteen years later, Sarah, making a living through her quilting business called Cloud Nine, is herself recovering from cancer. The illness threatened more than her life – the trauma brought to a head her difficult relationship with her son, Mike, who finally left her to go and live with his grandfather.
It is at this point that their lives collide with another tragic family. Will Burke, the pilot she charters to visit Mike, has never recovered from the death of his own teenage son, which wrecked his marriage and has left his daughter Susan like a piece of flotsam drifting between Will, her mother, and her mother’s ghastly new husband. In the tense, emotive story that unfolds, all their lives are changed as love, hope and endurance eventually find a way to transcend suffering.