Lottie Archer arrives in Rome excited to begin her new job as an archivist. When she discovers a valuable fifteenth-century painting, she is drawn to find out more about the woman who left it behind, Nina Lawrence. Nina seems to have led a rewarding and useful life, restoring Italian gardens to their full glory following the destruction of World War Two. So why did no one attend her funeral in 1978? In exploring Nina’s past, Lottie unravels a tragic love story beset by the political turmoil of post-war Italy. And as she edges closer to understanding Nina, she begins to confront the losses in her own life.
Natasha Rothwell leads a sheltered life with her beautiful, bohemian mother in a crumbling house by the sea. From a young age she has been beset by strange dreams that she believes predict the future. The summer Natasha turns fifteen, strange dancing lights appear in the sky above her small seaside town, lights that she interprets as portents of doom and which lead her to reveal her gift to the small, insular community. Meanwhile, the arrival of a new lodger, the handsome Mr Bowen, threatens to upset the delicate equilibrium between mother and daughter. As news of the lights spreads, more and more visitors arrive, creating a feverish atmosphere of anticipation and dread. Then a local teenager goes missing, and Natasha is called on to use her powers to help.