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May, Colin, Frank and Berenice – the four children of John and Bertha Prime, were brought up in the farm called The Beacon, a bleak, windswept place but one in which they spent a happy, close-knit childhood. Or did they ? They all remembered it that way, apart from Frank, who went to London,
became a journalist and then wrote a dreadful ‘misery memoir’, The Cupboard under the Stairs, in which he told the ‘truth’ about his abused childhood. But what was the truth ? When the book is published and then made into a film, when all their names and those of their neighbours are there for all to see, the Primes endure shame, bewilderment and above all anger at what Frank has done. But Colin and Berenice have married and only May is left at The Beacon to try and get on with some sort of life, looking after their dying mother, remembering, trying to puzzle out what Frank did and why.