Unhappy with her job as teacher, smarting from being cheated on by her partner, Adele Burke takes a year off, leaves Dublin and returns to her home town of Cairnsure on the south coast.
Her hope is to rekindle the intensity of her childhood friendship with accountant Jodi and ex-nurse Carla. But she finds both her friends preoccupied and, living with her widowed mother, soon regrets coming home.
Then New Zealander Eoin Kirby arrives in town and Adele’s mother begs her to have nothing to do with him, while refusing to explain why.
Adele feels she is surrounded by mysteries. Why does her mother fear Eoin? Why has Jodi left a blossoming career in London? Why is Carla, who seems to have the perfect lifestyle, so unhappy?
As Adele copes with tragedy, deceit and heartbreak, Cairnsure finally yields up its secrets.