"And what happens if your face fits but you don't," Tom enquired. "When you belong to it, the place holds you so tight, you might not notice how it squeezes."
The day Tom Hepple walks back into the village of Allnorthover, he stops at the reservoir, beneath which lies his childhood home. Looking for a sign, he sees a girl walking on water. Not just any girl, this is Mary George. Mary is a strange and lovely creature, struggling with growing up, falling in love and breaking away; and she seems to be more important to many of those in the village than she is to herself. Secrets and misapprehensions surface as the village reveals its stories and unwittingly helps Tom towards the catastrophic conclusion of his plan.
Lavinia Greenlaw puts before us the monochrome, static middle England of the 1970s . . . a small world about to be disrupted by faraway events that bring power cuts, petrol shortages and drought. Punk's torch flares into life in the village disco, and singes the fringes of England. Mary George bears witness and burns brighter still: she is more memorable than even the extraordinary events around her, and the reader will find it devastatingly hard to leave her company, at the end of this exceptional novel.