It's 1980. Barbara Blaize lives a comfortable but conventional existence, married to Andrew - an architect - who enjoys having a stay-at-home wife. But she feels there is something missing: a life of her own, where she can be more than just a wife, a sister or a daughter. When she enrols on an antiques course and meets professional dealer Ian Avery, she sees new opportunities unfolding. But on that course she meets someone else who will change her life forever. Her natural kindness and good manners mean that she inadvertently encourages social misfit Gilbert Smart. The repercussions will be devastating.