Finding love is hard. Holding on to it is harder.
The Strathearns, a large, middle-class Edinburgh family, are invaded by a fascinating English girl, Olivia. She beguiles them as she moves lightly through the stifling social conventions of the 1960s, and one way or another they all fall in love with her.
She and the middle Strathearn, Hamil - 'the handsome one' - become lovers, but life and Fate intervene, and it is his brilliant, unstable and self-destructive brother Ewan that she marries. As the years pass, as their lives intersect, Hamil learns two things. Firstly that Olivia, their exploiter, was in fact the exploited, her life usurped and then wrecked by the emotional demands of the dazzling Strathearn clan.
And secondly that the love between Hamil and Olivia is of a depth and passion no time, distance or disappointment can extinguish...