For ten-year-old Christine, home is a hostile, troubling place. Her mother reserves her affection for her younger, live-in-lover, and for Waldo, Christine's teenage brother. Christine viciously takes out her angry feelings on her Barbies and on a weaker girl in her class. Then on a family holiday in Scotland, a tragic accident occurs for which Christine blames herself, and panic-stricken, she runs away with her four-year-old brother, and hides in the back of a stranger's car.
Agnes Stam is an elderly Dutch spinster, making her annual summer pilgrimage to her family's holiday cottage on Mull. When she discover the little stowaways in her car, she fails to report the missing children and allows them to stay. And so a little girl with a big, guilty secret becomes a lonely old woman's salvation - and also her nemesis.