Ruth lives alone in an isolated beachside house she and her late husband, Harold, had bought for their retirement. Her two sons are both a long-distance phone call away, one in New Zealand the other in Hong Kong. Near enough to maintain an appropriate level of interest and care.
One night Ruth awakens to the presence of a tiger in her house, “a vibrancy of breath that suggested enormity and intent.” The unsettling orange presence that leaves her aware of how vulnerable her solicitude makes her but also thrilled at the potential danger.
At the same time a stranger arrives at her door. Frida Young is a large woman whose hair colour changes with her moods. She has been assigned to Ruth by the Government to provide her with daily assistance around the home in what her son Jeffrey believes is a