The English village is a place where people come to lick their wounds. Dorothy has walked away from a bad thirty-year marriage, an affair gone sour and a dangerous obsession. Between her visits to the doctor and the music lessons she gives to bored teenagers, she is trying to rebuild a life.
It's not immediately clear why her neighbour, Solomon, is living in the village, but his African origin suggests a complex history that is at odds with his dull routine of washing the car and making short trips to the supermarket. Though all he has in common with the English is a shared language, it soon becomes clear that Solomon hopes that his new country will provide him with a safe haven. Gradually they establish a form of comfort in each other's presence that alleviates the isolation they both feel.