Forty years in the life of a family and a house. . . in 1905 the elderly Miss Celia Dunne is visited by her grandnephew Humphrey and tells him, contrary to the expectations of her oldest brother's son, she's living the house to him, and after him to his daughter Celia -- even though he has only a son and two daughters, neither named Celia.
This meanders into a tale of the family growing up; the son Mark getting his feeling for the place and being told by the gardener that he could eat the apples because they were his father's; how Billy and then finally Celia were born; the time Humphrey explained the will to Mark; a performance of A Midsummer's Night Dream; the faintest hint of something non mundane; a cousin coming to stay; the neighbors, particularly their children; both wars, of course; and more.