This first U.S. release from Scottish novelist Dewar centers on Iris Chisholm, an unassuming school teacher leading an ordinary existence in the late 1960s until her husband dies in a car accident. Left in financial disarray from his secret gambling addiction, a grief-stricken Iris uproots her two adolescent children-Sophy and Scott-and takes a position as the head teacher at a small school in the rural Highlands town of Green Cairns. As an escape from her own problems, Iris throws herself into the tribulations of her students-while her grieving children run wild: Sophy tries her hand at graffiti and Scott, a blossoming hippie, has an affair with the local anarchist's wife. Meanwhile, Iris becomes the subject of town gossip with two men vying for her attention: reckless lawyer Michael Kennedy and down-to-earth handyman Charles ""Chas"" Harper. Fans of Maeve Binchy may enjoy Dewar's perceptive omniscient guidance through the cozy Scottish world of these likeable, flawed characters.