Fran hates Ash Mountain, and she thought she'd escaped.
But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway. She returns to her hometown to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends.
There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer. As old friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran's tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants.