Desmond and Deirdre Doyle will have been married for twenty-five years in October. It falls to their eldest daughter, Anna, to decide how best to celebrate her parents' Silver Wedding. No use asking her sister Helen, living in her London convent, or her brother Brendan, who has chosen another form of exile on a bleak farm in the West of Ireland. But it is unthinkable not to have a party, even thought for the Doyles, family occasions are more difficult than for most. For each of them is keeping up a front, nursing a secret wound, or smarting over a hidden betrayal. And as the day draws nearer, so the tension mounts, until finally the guests gather at the party itself.