Old friendships are expected to maintain their shape despite distance, lovers, careers, new friends. But twenty years is a long time. Ava is an internationally acclaimed novelist who carries with her a lifetime of secrets. Helen, a brilliant and dedicated molecular biologist, is faced with unexpected moral dilemmas as she finds herself drawn into bioterrorism research. Conrad is a philosopher with a popular media profile and a desire for a much younger woman. And Jack, whose career has stalled in the light of his long unrequited love for Ava, is a scholar of the history and culture of Islam. It is Ava's husband, Harry, a man for whom the others can barely conceal their disdain, who has drawn them back to Melbourne, where they first met at university. As they deal with the reality of their present lives and their memories of the past, none will be unchanged by the reunion. And not everyone will survive.