While Kate Latimer is delighting in the discovery that there is life after children – pursuing the luxury of time to herself and the possibility of a creative career - her forty-six-year-old husband, Nicholas, finds himself sliding inexorably into the thick of a mid-life crisis. The evident happiness of his spouse, the growing independence of his three children only serve to heighten his gloom and disintegrating sense of self-worth. As happiness slips from his grasp, so does good sense, leading him towards the most dubious of consolations. Kate, meanwhile, finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Max Urquart, a new arrival in the village with an agenda of his own.