Two sisters inherit the family home and go back to living the quiet life in Trundle, an imaginary country town on the coast of NSW, Australia.
Both Marie and Ronnie have been hurt by life, but their hopeful new start soon deteriorates into antagonism. Conflict is fanned by the arrival of new neighbours; the Lal family, whose new house overshadows their home and disturbs their peace.
When Mr Lal’s wife becomes ill and dies, he evolves a grandiose plan to build a monument in her honour. His Taj will be a tribute to his culture and a memorial to his own struggle as a migrant and outsider. His search for land takes him to Pelican: a coastal commune on the outskirts of town.
Marie’s past involved a scandal at this commune. Decades on, she wants to make amends, renewing contact with long-term residents who are now trying to redefine their purpose. First Marie and then her sister become entangled in the commune’s way of life, uncovering facts and facing needs that neither knew about themselves. In Trundle, human behaviour is at its best and worst. Unexpected kindness and the rebirth of love counteract the crooked deals, racism, perversion and violence which show that small-town life is anything but uneventful.