'I was beginning to realise that time didn't move forwards here. It just spun round and round, circling an old date, endlessly'. So says seventeen-year-old Olivia who spends the summer at the home of her boarding school friend, the brilliant, distant, lonely Leila. Their intense relationship circles Leila's painful past: a dreadful accident when she was five, and then the sudden death of her infant brother four years later. Olivia meets Leila's childhood friend Rosie, a disturbing, manipulative influence, and Katherine, Leila's step-mother: bitter, damaged and unforgiving. Now on the verge of adulthood, Leila decides to confront her past and her family, but the atmosphere of blame and recrimination hangs as heavy as the summer heat and will prove more powerful than she could have ever imagined.