Stella works as an agony aunt for a teenage magazine. She lives on Pansy Island, a self-consciously arty community on the Thames, where her husband Adrian writes erotic novels in a summerhouse by the river, while her two teenage children prepare themselves for adult life in various ways not recommended in the pages of their mother's advice columns. Stella, however, finds herself with a problem she cannot handle when Abigail, her rich and glamorous friend from university, comes to stay. Abigail has been deserted by her husband and has decided that Stella's life, and more particularly Stella's husband, will fill the gap nicely . . .