" `Dear,' she said, and as she drew the boy forward with a gentle hand on his arm, Sandy got the impression that she had rehearsed this meeting many times. `Dear, this is Thomas. Thomas this is himself, my husband. I think you've been told a lot more about him than he's been told about you.' "
Mairi and Sandy live on a lonely Hebridean island, content with each other, despite their lack of children. When Mairi brings home Thomas, a child from the orphanage, Sandy is jealous of Mairi's affection for him and disappointed in the boy's stammer and fragility. With time, Thomas grows in confidence and draws nearer to his foster mother, but still Sandy keeps an emotional distance - until tragedy results in a new understanding.
`Told with a confident dignity . . . direct, unpretentious and datelessly charming' Daily Telegraph