Mado has been adrift for too long. After ten years in Paris, she returns to the small island of Le Devin, the home that has haunted her since she left. Le Devin is shaped somewhat like a sleeping woman. At her head is the village of Les Salants, while its more prosperous rival, La Houssinière, lies at her feet. Yet even though you can walk from one to the other in an hour, they are worlds apart. And now Mado is back in Les Salants hoping to reconcile with her estranged father. But what she doesn't realize is that it is not only her father whose trust she must regain.
No one voiced their hopes too loudly. To an outsider Les Salants would have seemed quite unchanged. But Capucine got a card from her daughter on the mainland; Angélo began to repaint his bar; Omer and Charlotte salvaged the winter potatoes; and Désirée Bastonnet went to La Houssinière and spent over an hour on the phone long-distance to her son Philippe in Marseille. None of it was of great significance. But there was something in the air: a sense of possibility, the beginnings of momentum.