Corrie and Michael's twenty-year-old son, Tom, goes to Asia after dropping out of university - no-one hears from him and he does not return on the due date. His parents are left to contemplate the nightmarish possibilities. Corrie, haunted by her own unremembered past, waits, while Michael travels through Asia looking for their son.
At home, Corrie begins to write Tom's life from conception to adulthood. Once upon a time when everything was as it should be. She tries to fathom the mysterious unknowability of her own son and soon realises she is writing a spell, trying to call him back into her world. In the process, she creates an intensely sensuous and emotional exploration of motherhood - its pleasures, failures, irritations, griefs and joys. She is confronted by the illusion of control and by the random mystery of things, the chance of it all, and desperately hopes chance will deliver her child back to her.