A cry for help from his closest friend takes Lawrence Ago, a writer, on a journey from Norfolk to Scotland. It results in meditations on lifelong friendships, relationships between men and women and the place of science and art in an understanding of life. Intermingled with his reminiscences are the dramatic events of the journey itself, during which inconvenient encounters with fellow passengers turn his life upside down.
What is gradually uncovered in this long voyage into night is how memories confine us and in doing so fix us like flies in aspic. The heat of emotional challenge may be all that can melt us out of this torpid state.