The house at the centre of the novel, Black Rabbit Hall, is so-called because when the sun sets over its vast green lawn the rabbits are silhouetted on the horizon.
The Alton family joke is that a Black Rabbit hour lasts twice as long as a London one, but you don’t get a quarter of the things done.
When you are at Black Rabbit Hall, nobody cares that the clocks are all set wrong, because not much ever happens, beyond lazy walks to the beach, building dens in the woods, gazing at the sea from the rickety chair known as the Bottom Biter.
And then one day something does happen. The worst thing. And life will never be the same again for the Alton family as the fabric that binds them together dramatically unravels.