The story fluctuates between the lives of two women and their relationships, one living in the present day and the other in the 1950s-60s. It seemed inevitable that their lives would somehow be linked and I enjoyed teasing out the clues which were strewn throughout the narrative. Despite there being sadness and loss in the book there was also a lot of love. When I finished I did feel there was some hope for the remaining characters.
Alexandra does not - cannot - know the proximity of Innes Kent. She doesn't know that he is coming, getting closer with every passing second, walking in his hand-made shoes along the roads that separate them, the distance between them shrinking with every well-shod step. Life as she will know it is about to begin but she is absorbed, finally, in her reading, in a long-dead man's struggle with mortality.