They meet by chance in a department store and the attraction is immediate. But they've met before. Clare is an independent woman in her twenties; Marcus is twice her age. They met years ago, when Clare was a child, on a summer holiday taken by two families to Guernsey which was marred by tragedy. He lost his son in inexplicable circumstances. She was his son's friend and the last person to see him alive.
The novel flits backwards and forwards in time - between the present day, and the affair between Marcus and Clare which is fuelled by grief and loneliness; and the summer a young boy, Tom, went missing, a summer filled with sunshine and magic, moving inexorably towards tragedy.
The Magic Places is a spellbinding tale of the power of stories and imagination.