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Hebe sits in the darkness and listens to her hypocritical grandparents and her older siblings discuss how her unexpected pregnancy must be terminated to avoid the shame it will bring. Determined to raise her child, she flees into the night with only her mother's jewellery to support her.
Twelve years later she is living happily alone in Cornwall, whilst her son attends an expensive private school. Hebe has harnessed her two great talents - cooking and making love - to make a living for herself, but when the separate strands of her life become intangled the even tenor of her days is threatened, and her world changes forever.