Rosie Thomas brings forward an interesting novel of the complexities of family and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love. Sadie’s life is calm and complete. She is a mother, a good friend, and the robust survivor of a marriage she deliberately left behind. She has come to believe that she has everything she wants and deserves. But now her father is dying—the elusive man who spent his life creating exquisite perfumes for other women is slipping away from her, and Sadie must try to make her peace with him before it’s too late.
As Sadie confronts the truth about her father, who often ignored her as he pursued his separate life, her relationship with her son Jack also appears to be breaking down. Intent on salvaging her relationships with both son and father, her seemingly perfect life unravels from both ends. Then the arrival of an ephemeral woman from her father’s past sets off a chain reaction of events that even Sadie cannot control.