The book takes us back ten years.
It is 1990 in Angel Cay, the Bahamas. We get to know the characters that Miles mentions in the prologue. Miles, or actually his father, is the owner of the island, and both Miles and his sister Grace have invited some friends to spend some weeks on the island.
Grace is three years older than her brother. She feels unappreciated because even though her father has told her she has a job in the family corporation, she knows that the company will be Miles’s, and she will simply have a small position to just fob her off. So she plans to do a MA at Oxford, but she is nervous about how her parents will react to her decision. Grace also has a crush on Miles’s friend, Alex, and she is encouraged by her friend Sarah to seduce him that last night on the island. Yet, we see that she gets disappointed when, after she gets to find Alex alone, another friend of hers Freda appears, not hiding the fact that she wants Alex to entertain her that night.
Alex Doyle is Miles’s best friend. He comes from a humble family. His mother is a cleaner to a rich lady who convinced her to send her son to a boarding school when the lady recognized Alex’s musical quality. Alex often feels out of his depth, surrounded by these wealthy people, especially those who go out of their way to demean him. It is this sense that makes Alex to restrain himself from pursuing Grace Ashford. He likes the girl, but he knows that she is out of his league, so he stops himself to do what he longs for. That last night something else happens. Miles and Alex are drunk, and suddenly, Miles makes a pass at him. Alex first feels relaxed, but suddenly, he pulls away. The conversation that follows is strange as Miles makes it look as it had been Alex’s idea. We are gradually getting to realize that Miles is the typical rich boy who manages to get his way, and he can be quite cruel and ruthless to others. The moment between Alex and Miles has been watched by a boat boy called Bradley, and Miles reacts harshly, trying to humiliate and even burning his face with the cigarette he’s smoking.
And the last character that Miles mentioned in the prologue is Sasha Sinclair. Sasha is Miles’s girlfriend. She has signed a contract with a model agency. Sasha is ambitious and what she wants is to marry Miles, but we know it is not out of love, but because Miles has money to burn. Miles is not so keen on Sasha, and now he finds her irritating, so he keeps ignoring her most of the time. Angry, Sasha ends up in bed with Bradley, the boat boy, who tells him about the moment between Miles and Alex out of spite. The man is angry because as soon as the thing finished, Sasha was regretful and wanted to get out of his cottage quickly. I wonder if that moment of revengeful passion will have consequences or if Bradley’s words will also have some effect on Sasha’s relationship with Miles.
I have the hunch that whatever Miles fears in 2010 is related to Bradley. I am not sure what that can be, and how it affects Miles, Sasha, Alex, and Grace.