A wife compulsively digs in her garden. Two brothers, long estranged, reunite for a terse, heady summer. A woman flies to Krakow to see her adult son. At dusk, a teenage girl pushes her dying mother out into the sea. A small boy sits on his own in the cinema, entranced by the cowboys who light up the screen.With these short stories, Tim Pears illuminates a series of blazing moments in quiet lives the tragic, strange, funny and beautiful fragments that make and unmake us and shines a light into the gulfs that lie between us and those who should know us best.