For Alan Carter the greatest personal sacrifice of the Great War of 1914-18 is being called-up after only one week of marriage. Leaving his new bride is even more painful than the wound that, months later, interrupts his war at sea and sends him to Cornwall to convalesce. For, there, he has time to think about Dora and about the career as a writer that he secretly nurtures. A career that seems possible when he finds himself accepted by the established colony of Newlyn artists.
There is one artist in particular – Vicky Hazleton – who encourages Alan’s leanings towards the arts. And she stirs other feelings: inappropriate and impossible ones. For Vicky and her set inhabit a different world from Alan. He, as one of Vicky’s friends makes clear, belongs to London’s East End – and to Dora . . .