There is more going on in rural Buckleigh than meets the eye. Distinguished by its Silver Band, whose presence is felt throughout, it soon becomes clear that the neighbourliness and sense of community the Band represents are as much a curse as a blessing. Lives are forced into proximity, but the contact yearned for by each of the men and women gathered here is of a different order. The local mayor is driven into the arms of a jaded single mother; his father, in turn, captivated disastrously by the feathers of a former Tiller girl. A murderous farmer's wife confronts her fury and grief, and the postman is in danger of realising his sexual fantasies. In all cases the private vicissitudes of love are heightened by the locality: Buckleigh is a place close and vulnerable to natural forces - fire, wind and high water - and a community where rumour and paranoia are rife. As the lives of the inhabitants are revealed, it is apparent that no one life, however secret the agony, exists in isolation from another.