Just days into motherhood, a woman begins dying. Fast and without warning. On return from near-death, Tanya Shadrick vows to stop sleepwalking through life. To take more risks, like the characters in the fairy tales she loved as a small girl, before loss and fear had her retreat into routine and daydreams. Around the care of young children, she starts to play with the shape and scale of her days: to stray from the path, get lost in the woods, make bargains with strangers. As she moves beyond her respectable roles as worker, wife and mother in a small town, Tanya learns what it takes – and costs – to break the spell of longing for love, approval, safety, rescue.