'You looked for a moment as if you might be going to smile at me,' he remarked. 'But I see I was mistaken; I suspect your smiles are precious and you hoard them so they are seen only by very special people.'
Anna is a child living in a remote Hebridean community when she meets the enigmatic and romantic Jimmy Pearl. She carries the memory of their meeting through to adult life - a life that is full of hardships. Anna's parents die and her brother and his wife sell the family croft, forcing Anna into a loveless marriage with the heartless Fergus. Anna, however, doesn't reckon on the return of Jimmy Pearl . . .