It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. In lecture halls and laboratories, the model of a universe governed by the mind of God is at last giving way to something wholly rational, a universe governed by the laws of physics. To junior fellow Fred Fairly, this comes as a great comfort. Science, he is certain, will soon explain everything. Mystery will be routed by reason, and the demands of the soul will be seen for what they are, a distraction and an illusion.
Into Fred's orderly life comes Daisy, with a bang—literally. One moment the two are perfect strangers; the next, they are casualties of a freakish accident, occupants of the same warm bed. Fred has never been so close to a woman before, one so pretty, so plainspoken, and yet so mysterious. Is she a manifestation of chaos, or a sign of another kind of order?