During celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Meriel watches her aunt Evie as she scrutinizes the crowds enjoying themselves on the village green. They both remember what happened on that day 25 years ago, when Evie’s daughter Jessamy vanished. Meriel gets on with her life, but when news comes of Evie’s death, she must return to the village to sort out her aunt’s estate. Neighbours tell her of Evie’s increasingly eccentric behaviour in the weeks before her death. Determined to work out what was gripping her aunt, Meriel immerses herself in family history, starting with Marion, Evie’s mother, who made a "terrible mistake" around the time of the Coronation. Meriel is convinced that the key to Jessamy’s disappearance lies in these events.
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