A couple cherish the notion of a new life in the Cotswolds - but have their eyes opened to the realities of modern rural life.
Chasing memories of the losses of his brother and father, the author, a young newspaper director, and his Australian wife visit the Cotswolds. On a whim they buy a cottage and Ian resigns. They slowly get to know Norman, their inscrutable and apparently terrifying neighbour; Geoff, the ebullient landlord of their eclectic local - last bastion against the encroaching gastropub - and Tom, an ex-gamekeeper, who lets Ian see something of a hidden rural culture. The delightful aspects of village life and an ever-changing landscape is evocatively captured; but it is from working with Norman on his small chaotic farm that they learn about the loss of the countryside to industrial farming and of no-longer affordable housing to the dreaded 'white settlers'. And it is shadows of the past and a seemingly segregated social world around them that begin to cast doubts on whether this is the place for them. This is a gentle lesson in taking time to confront our losses, memories and prejudices to discover a revitalised life in our own country.