'Queen Anne's Lace' is the story of how a family copes following the death of James, the husband and father. It follows Isabel's path, as the new widow, from bewilderment, through clutching at a false certainty, to finding renewed happiness.
At the same time, her three children's own lives are evolving: the blunt, practical Kate marries so that she will be giving birth to her baby in wedlock; clever, handsome Angus comes to know the strengths and weaknesses of his confident society girlfriend; and the artistic Violet lets go of one version of herself in order to catch hold of another.
Isabel and Violet are the peacemakers in the family's frequent spats and misunderstandings, but even they are faced with the ultimate challenge in the person of Kate's father-in-law, the deliberately tactless and offensive Derek.
This is a novel that explores the foibles of humankind with gentle humour and warmth, set against a backdrop of rural landscapes and in particular the family's cottage which is 'just close enough to the sea to give a sea feeling'.