After inheriting a fortune, Mike believes a move to Ascombe in the Yorkshire Dales will be the realisation of his dreams. His wife, a dyed-in-the-wool city girl, is far from enthusiastic.
Since her divorce, Emma, a beautiful artist in Ascombe, has embarked only on safe, casual affairs. When she meets Leo, a dark and brooding playwright, it seems he has other ideas.
The story moves to Cyprus where their lives become fatefully involved and leads to passion, jealousy and hatred that brings tragedy to the village of Ascombe.