In 1991, Bronwen Carmichael is a student at Durham University. One day, while researching aspects of World War II, she finds her mother’s own journal. It was written in 1954, when Rosa was 13, and charts a period when England was recovering from the war, and that was also a dark time in Rosa’s childhood. At its heart is a deep family secret that now, 50 years later, may suddenly unravel creating havoc in the restrained and civilised Carmichael family. It seems this secret has tied the family together – matriarch Kate, writer Rosa, academic Bronwen, and her daughter, Lily – with invisible cords.