The story begins on the morning after the 1997 Labour election victory, and follows the hopes and sometimes shattered dreams of its five protagonists, whose lives are linked by blood and love as well as friendship, over the next five years.
Libby Raven has a difficult meeting at the ad agency whilst Anthea Hurt, a local authority Tree Officer, is nervously anticipating an encounter with her boss.
Harry and his former teacher Nat meet for one of their regular lunches, this time to toast the Labour election victory.
But Harry has other things on his mind.
As Harry returns from his lunch with his old friend Nat, he is still uncomfortable about the idea of giant foxes roaming around south London.
Nat's Uncle Jack, Master of Foxhounds, is taking his customary Friday afternoon walk through the Suffolk heathland.
Anthea is at home alone, anxious about her decision to send her stories to her former tutor Nat Raven.
Nat's uncle Jack is lost in the Suffolk countryside but in no hurry to get home.
Over a year has passed since Tony Blair swept to power.
Jack Raven is dealing with the life changes of that fateful day in May when he rang home to speak to his wife and the phone was answered by a worried friend.
Harry becomes obsessed with urban foxes.
Nat continues to focus on his former student Anthea.
As the Millennium draws to a close, major changes have taken place in the lives of Nat, Libby, Harry, Anthea and Jack.
Harry faces up to fatherhood, but finds himself distracted by the hunt for a missing child.
The story of the missing toddler continues to obsess Harry.
Anthea struggles with Nat's dependence on her.
Libby has just come back from visiting her dying mother and Damian has some news for her.
Nat feels abandoned, Harry's son Stephen gets into trouble and Jack has a dinner date.
Fresh off the plane from visiting her dying mother, Libby finds herself cooking for a dinner party at Damian's flat.
Libby has Uncle Jack to stay.
Harry has learned of a breakthrough in the case of the missing child and Nat has some news.
At a party on a May evening in 2002, Libby has brought Nat's Uncle Jack but both Nat and Harry have news to share with her.