On a weekend in late summer, Jo is fleeing to London with her children when, a few miles into the journey from the Kent coast, her teenage daughter jumps off the train.
Since Jo's husband left her, she has been caring single-handedly for her three children, working in a junk shop to make ends meet. A new love affair was just beginning to give her life meaning until the man inexplicably lashed out at her. Jo's instinct was to pack hasty bags and head to her family in London.
As we follow Jo's attempt to cope with the repercussions of her daughter's action we gradually learn what led up to the attack from her lover, and begin to understand how desperately each of them would like to escape the ties that bind and begin afresh.