“No life is perfect – even if it seems to be,” says James Manning, a wealthy London solicitor. When it comes to matters of right and wrong, he likes to think of himself as inflexible. Anne, his much younger wife, is accommodating and dutiful and likes the life they lead, the house in London, the Buckinghamshire hideaway. The couple seems to have it all, yet events soon will prove them wrong.
In the village, a neighbour has reappeared: William Bule, son of a leading local family. He has recently returned from America, a bad marriage, and two children whose ages he cannot bother to remember. Bill is indolent and insinuating and at the village cricket match he catches Anne’s eye. Because of him, she suggests to her reluctant husband that they should have neighbours over for drinks. However, that evening, James has to work late in the city….