Like several of her novels Cross Currents is set in the South of England, in Dorset, where Barbara Masterton was born and grew up. The main character, Julia, is a single mother in her early forties, struggling to free herself from family ties arising from conflicting personalities. She is persuaded to marry a man she does not really love but to whom she feels physically attracted: a wealthy previous suitor from her schooldays, Bruce, who makes her feel owned and resentful…
'It had taken Bruce six unrelenting months to convince Julia that she had much to gain by marrying him and another six months for her to realise how much she had lost by acquiescing. How foolish and selfish she had been, how easily flattered and deceived. Not that she had thought herself to be in love with him. Physically attracted, yes, very much so, as if her body craved a reminder of an almost forgotten pleasure, but she knew what it was to be truly in love, to have that love fulfilled and then to be deprived of it. She also knew what it was to be loved and not to be able to return it.'
For years she has kept a deep secret from her youth, making everyone suffer around her, especially her mother, who died prematurely without knowing the truth. Rivalry with her older, envious and selfish sister Frances and her latent but deep-rooted jealousy poison the family environment, and the moment of truth will inevitably strike everyone's lives like a storm. Nothing will ever be the same again, and Julia is brought to realize that love and trust are there for her where she had least expected them to be.
A novel with a refined and elegant style of narration, coupled with a sharp introspective portrait of its characters.