On her first day at a new school, Lily meets Eva, one of the daughters of the infamous avant-garde painter Evan
Trentham. He and his wife are attempting to escape
the stifling conservatism of 1930s Australia by inviting
other like-minded artists to live and work with them at their family home. As Lily’s friendship with Eva grows,
she becomes infatuated with this makeshift family and longs to truly be a part of it.
Looking back on those years later in life, Lily realises
that this utopian circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham’s art: Faustian bargains and terrible
recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace.
Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered
around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt
that was owing.