The Winspeares are well-bred though not well-heeled, but optimistic and past-masters at making the best of things. Only average in looks, height and achievement, together they survive and flourish in a changing world. Polly, the narrator, born in 1972, takes us back to November 1945, when the 12th baronet, determined not to lose Winspeare Hall, opens its doors to near and distant kin. Orphaned at the age of seven, Polly is mopped up into the family and records their lives and love-lives, their care of Cousin Georgie, who, 'isn't all there', and their involvement in local events, the troubles in Northern Ireland, the Falklands and First Gulf Wars and National Elections. High spots in her life are school holidays when she and her young kinsman, Chad, are inseparable, a partnership that takes them into adult life.