On his way back up from the yard Bird had seen something white and round - a girl who had curled herself into a ball. Lifting her was like retrieving a ball of newspaper from out of the grass or an empty crisp bag that someone had flung over the ditch. She seemed to lack the bones and meat and muscle of real people. She felt as if she was filled with feathers. On the day Midge Connors comes hurtling into Bird Keegan's life, she flings open his small, quiet world. He and his two sisters, Olive and Margaret, have lived in the same isolated community all their lives, each one more alone than the others can know. Taking in damaged, sharp-edged Midge, Bird invites the scorn of his neighbours and siblings. And as they slowly mend each other, family bonds - and the tie of the land - begin to weigh down on their tentative relationship. Can it survive the misunderstandings, contempt and violence of others? A poignant and powerful study of the emotional lives of three siblings and the girl who breaks through their solitude.