Spiral patterns in a book, a strange tape of music from Russia, and an oddly carved walking stick all have a profound effect on a group of friends in England. Ellen is thirty-something and alone, until a chance meeting with a young widower, Adam Thomas, starts a chain of uncanny events which enthrall and endanger them both. Choice and contingency, happenstance and coincidence all blend to bring the two together, and lift the pall of loss covering their lives. A rich backdrop of music, archaeology, books and plant lore enables the author of Beyond the Veil to touch deeper issues of bereavement, friendship, illness, recovery and the impact of objects from the past on our lives. Altered states, heightened sensitivities and unseen communications are also explored, as is the nature of spiritual ecstasy, in a thoughtful vel that gives separate paths an unusual and satisfying convergence The debut vel from Mirabelle Maslin.