The year is 1960. The place is a Scottish seaside town utterly devoid of culture and charm. Here, Lila lives as the third player in her parents' dramatically embittered marriage. Until her flamboyant, irrepressible uncle George shows up from London and her family decides to squander a windfall on the most preposterous of causes; a civic production of the Puccini opera Turandot. Lila knows nothing of opera and little of her uncle or the dashing young man he hires to sing the role of Calaf. But Lila does know passion. Because it's coursing through her veins - and rushing blindly, wildly all around her. Now a girl on the verge of womanhood is about to blunder into a grown-up world where secrets are kept and exposed, hopes soar and wither, and where crimes petty and great exact the most chilling punishments of all.