Those who suffered because of her might think of Mary that she hurt others, herself she could not hurt; but Jer, knowing her better...knew she hurt herself perhaps most deeply. Since the death of her parents, Roguey, Maeve and Jer have cared for one another and for Sorristown, their elegant home. Together they have fished and hunted, unravelled secrets by bedroom fires and sipped gin cocktails. But this pattern of intimacy is about to be broken by Maeve's marriage to Rowley. A week before the wedding, her bridesmaid Mary arrives. Meeting her for the first time Rowley describes Mary as a 'factor for disturbance', little realising the extent to which his prophecy will prove true for each of them.