David Grant and his beautiful French wife Élodie are a prosperous happy couple living in an idyllic village in the Ardèche. It is summer and Élodie has gone on a Buddhist retreat south of Paris. Left to his own devices, her husband decides to go on what he thinks will be a short trip away . . . And so, harmlessly enough, David Grant begins his journey across France and back to Ireland and the UK. By turns humorous and melancholic, it becomes a fitful odyssey that leads eventually to his home town of Edinburgh. As he wanders, he finds that more and more of his present life is falling away and that the ghosts of his past are crowding in. With its acute perceptions and unblinking dissection of a body and mind in the process of disintegration, this masterly darkly beautiful novel enthrals and moves and shocks to its very end.