• Joy – raised among high British society in Hong Kong, who marries a handsome naval officer at the end of a whirlwind romance
• Kate – Joy’s daughter, a single mom, whose rash actions as a teenager force her to leave the family horse farm in Ireland, move to London, and plunge her into a series of less-than-satisfactory relationships with men
• Sabine – Kate’s daughter, a teenager struggling to determine her own identity as she explores what it means to be part of a family
As the chapters jump from woman to woman and slowly reveal each woman’s full story, the characters and the reader learn how powerful long-held secrets can be in shaping mother-daughter relationships and how difficult it is for all children to understand the lives of and decisions made by their parents.
More about the author, Jojo Moyes.