MAGGIE RUSSELL (early 40’s – Malin Akerman) – a famous American film star – has the perfect life – married to the perfect man (CHRISTOPHER – a trendy British film director – Jack Donnelly). Living in a beautiful London townhouse with a cottage in the country, a wardrobe to die for and an enviable set of credits, Maggie’s reached a stage in her career where she wants to focus on more serious work – she’s writing a script she hopes to direct.
Everything seems possible until she wakes up to the paparazzi camped outside her door and discovers in the front pages of the tabloids that her husband is having an affair with the young starlet of his latest movie. When Maggie confronts Christopher by video call, he admits it’s been going on for a year and that his girlfriend is pregnant. Maggie’s phone rings like crazy but the only call she takes is from her cousin and oldest friend FIONA “FEE” HARRINGTON (50’s – Connie Nielsen). Fiona tells Maggie to get on tomorrow morning’s flight to Nevis where she runs a luxury hotel renowned for providing sanctuary and privacy – the ticket is already booked.
When Maggie arrives on Nevis she is physically and emotionally exhausted. She crashes, sleeping for days at a time, walks on the private beach, sleeps some more, eats papaya, does some yoga. Sleeps some more. Slowly she recovers. She lies by the pool, shares breakfast on the terrace with Fiona and meets SAM CLARKE (American – 40’s – Philip Winchester) the hotel’s handsome, easy going, brilliant chef. Sam’s a single dad bringing up his 4- year old son, DANIEL, while making legendary culinary magic in Fiona’s kitchen. Sam lights a spark in Maggie. They start spending time together, Sam sharing his interest in growing organic vegetables and sourcing local products. He introduces Maggie to the two great passions in his life after Daniel: sailing and the cultivation of vanilla – a passion he hopes will become a source of income once he’s able to own his own vanilla farm. As Maggie discovers the island and its wonders (the beaches, the volcanic peak, the food, the golden light, the people) she notices a gorgeous but dilapidated house for sale. It’s where Sam grows the hotel’s vegetables and dreams of growing his own vanilla.
Eventually, inevitably, Maggie and Sam fall in love. Maggie realises that there is no reason why she shouldn’t live in Nevis. She can still go from film to film – she’ll just come home to the island rather than London. Excited about the possibilities of a new life, Maggie’s floored when Christopher tracks her down, the outside world invading her peaceful bubble. Returning to London to make sense of everything, Maggie realises they have no future – it’s not just her husband – it’s the pace of life, the greyness and drudgery of the city, the shallowness of the work she’s being asked to do. But mostly – she misses Sam.
So she returns to Nevis, surprising Sam by buying the vacant farm. She’s looking to the future – working on her own script, cementing her relationship with Sam, helping him realise his dream of the vanilla farm. But most importantly, she’s rebuilding her life in the magical paradise of Nevis.