Late summer near Dublin, 1920, and up at the big house there are still cucumber sandwiches for tea. Eighteen year old Nancy gives Aunt Mary and dotty Grandfather the slip and goes down to the seashore to dream in the beach hut, write in her Diary and wait – longing for her life to begin. The Dublin newspapers are full of distant bombings and shootings. Even before she meets the mysterious fugitive on the beach, Nancy has begu to sense that the old life – the charmed lives of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy – cannot go on forever.