It is spring 1917 in the Cornish coastal village of Zennor, and the young artist Clare Coyne is waking up to the world. Ignoring the whispers from her neighbours, she has struck a rare friendship with D.H. Lawrence and his German wife, who are hoping to escape the war-fever of London. In between painting and visits to her new friends she whiles away the warm days with her cousin John, who is on leave from the trenches, harbouring secrets she couldn't begin to understand. But as the heat picks up, so too do the fear and the gossip that haunt the village. And the freedom to love will come at a steep price.