The year of 1936 is drawing to a close. Winter grips Westmoreland and causes a rare phenomenon: the lake freezes.
For two local families, the Richardsons and the Grindleys, this will bring unexpected upheaval, as the frozen lake entices long-estranged siblings and children to return home for the holiday season.
Some are aware of what is happening in Europe; others don't want to know. Everyone's keen to put aside their troubles - money worries, love tangles, career problems, domestic rifts - and enjoy themselves skating while they can. But one visitor carries the seed of violence, and not even the redoubtable matriarch of the Richardson clan can prevent the carefully buried secrets of the past from reappearing and transforming everything.
A compelling blend of family closeness and strife, dazzling passion and the dark influence of history, this is an enthralling read to curl up with and savour.