Her life a blur of one-night stands and ensuing hangovers, Clare Somerville has taken a long hard look at herself, and doesn't like what she sees. Tired of the ebb and flow of nameless faces in the hotel of which she's partner, Clare heads for the Scottish Highlands, knowing only that she must break clear from her past and start afresh.
The isolated cottage on the shore of a sea-loch seems wholly unsuitable for her. The difficulties of adapting to the lonely, self-sufficient existence, of learning the language and ways of a new community, and of coming to terms with herself - and her past - are daunting. But the Larach, the primitive cottage she comes to love, the breathtaking landscape and the warmth of the people she encounters soon give Clare hope for the future.