When she leaves London for the pretty Hampshire village that she describes as 'my geriatric bolt-hole', Elfrida Phipps quickly feels at home. She has a tiny cottage, her faithful dog Horace and the friendship of the neighbouring Blundells - particularly Oscar - to ensure that her days include companionship as well as independence.
But an unforeseen tragedy upsets Elfrida's tranquillity. She takes refuge in a rambling house in Scotland, which becomes a magnet for various waifs and strays. It sounds a recipe for disaster. But somehow the group becomes greater than the sum of its ill-assorted parts and Elfrida finds herself at the centre of a very magical Christmas.
Rosamunde Pilcher's many fans will be enchanted by this novel. Set mainly in Scotland, it charts the healing power of love on the troubled human spirit and glows with Mrs Pilcher's trademark warmth, humour and humanity.