Joseph Scott has been recently released from prison and wants to get his life back on track. He wants his kids back, living with him, and although his career as a teacher has been ended by his prison sentence, he wants to start again, find a new job and a new future.
The only fly in the ointment is that it was murder he was jailed for (reduced to manslaughter, if I remember rightly) and its was his children's mother he murdered. In front of them.
Scarlet, the eldest of the childrens, is in her teens now and a young woman. She remembers it most clearly and isn't ready to accept her father back into her life. She and her two younger brothers have been living with their maternal grandparents since it happened. The grandparents, although both showing the signs of aging, are definitely not ready to let Joseph Scott, the murderer of their only daughter anywhere near them.
This book really wasn't what I thought it was going to be. I'm a bit in two minds over it. I found it a little bit overly forgiving of the man who murdered the mother of his children - there were extenuating circumstances of course, and probably the most interesting thing about the book is the exploration of what happens to 'you' when you do something so terrible you can't forgive yourself.
I agreed with the grandparents all the way through - although I think the author intended you to be sympathising with Scott, so therefore I didn't really like the ending. Joseph Scott was okay. I liked the characters of the Granddad and Scarlet the best. Overall slightly disappointing and a bit too PC.