An epic tale of kinship, money and desire, set amongst the Traveller people of the Scottish Highlands.
Summer 1948 in the North West Highlands. Post-war austerity grips the land, but the pickings are rich for Traveller people, as they trade, poach, rustle – and fish for pearls in the clear water of the rivers.
Relations with the local people hang on a fragile thread, as they barter with one another, juggling language and meaning – and sometimes desire. Then one day Jess, a girl from the village, spies Ali the Traveller close up, trawling the river-bed. Jess steals his pearls, and her lover Roderick pledges to make a necklace for her – setting in motion a chain of events which will change both communities for ever.
Half a century later, in the autumn of 2007, the waters have risen, and the story is still being told and re-enacted.