In the dead of night, Lily Waite and her 5-year-old son, Matthew, arrive at their new home on a council estate in East London; their only possessions, two suitcases and a bag of charred remains. Their past is a mystery, Matthew's father nowhere in evidence, and Lily resolute in her need for privacy. But Lily has to come to terms with the events that precipitated her flight from Yorkshire and, as she relaxes enough to allow new relationships into her and her son's life, the secrets of the past finally begin to relinquish their hold on the future.
Jill Dawson was born in Durham. She is the author of three novels: Trick of the Light, Magpie and Fred & Edie, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize and translated into several languages. She is also an award-winning poet and has edited five anthologies, including Wild Ways: New Stories about Women on the Road (co-edited with Margo Daly), The Virago Book of Wicked Verse and the recent Gas and Air: Tales of Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. She taught at Amherst College and is currently the Creative Writing Fellow at University of East Anglia in Norwich. She lives in the Fens with her partner and two sons.