'He had in some sense, prepared the trap and fallen into it. He shuddered inside his newly dead universe. ' As a young boy, Frank Stapleton stumbles upon an unanswerable question about life and its meaning, and is devastated at the outcome. Now, half a century later and in retirement after a successful professional career, Frank has to face his doubts again through the problems of his family, colleagues and friends; in particular his son Stuart and his wife Francesca, who despite giving the appearance of a successful modern couple are about to part. It takes an unexpected potential tragedy to bring the story to its climatic resolution, and to an answer to the question posed to Frank all those years before.