At the start we find the central character, Ivy, lying in a hospital bed, slowly recovering from a hip operation. She is lonely and missing Arthur, her much loved husband, terribly. They are both in their early 70s. He has Alzheimer's and has been put in a home. She does not like this at all. This indomitable lady also dislikes being in a hospital ward. She rebels and walks out. To her amazement she also rebels against her old way of life and dowdy self. Back at home she makes her first serious choice. She avoids the police who come knocking at her door. She goes to the cupboard on the landing pulling out the old trunks containing her mother's extremely glamorous clothes. She tries them on beginning a journey from which she never returns. She sorts out passports, packing her new self in a couple of large suitcases collecting money from the bank and her dear husband from the home. They travel to Saint Pancras Station, then on to Paris before leaving for the South of France where their lives unfold. The fascinating characters she meets along the way give warmth humour and pathos to her extraordinary adventures.