Ardnish, the Highlands of Scotland, 1944. On his deathbed, Donald John Gillies sends for a priest to hear his last confession. During his 85 years he has witnessed much – world wars, the loss of family through death and emigration, and the daily struggles which face the small remote community.
Waiting anxiously for the priest, his mind travels back to the dusty plains of South Africa in 1901, where he fought as a Lovat Scout during the Boer War, and where he met the woman who was the love of his life. Forced to abandon her and her young daughter in a British concentration camp, DJ returns to Scotland and his old life after his camp is ambushed by Boers and many of his fellow soldiers are massacred.
As he lies dying, an unexpected visitor arrives at Ardnish, making it more imperative than ever for DJ to come to terms with the past and to make peace with himself – and his family – while there is still time.