'Within a few weeks, it seemed, the fixed points of my existence had revealed themselves to be untrustworthy.'Zoë is delighted when her widowed mother maries Simon, a generous older man who owns a villa in Nice. However, the long enchanted visits to France she enjoys come to an abrupt end when Simon suffers a bad fall. Zoë and her mother, finding themselves surounded by well-meaning strangers, must learn how and how not to trust appearances . . .