Caroline and her ex-army husband Mike embark on a trekking holiday in Nepal, where they meet Sandra, a divorcee in her sixties, and Jane, a single woman now free after the death of her elderly mother. When unexpected events leave Mike and Jane unable to complete the trek, Caroline and Sandra continue without them.
During the trek without Mike, Caroline is surprised by the uplift in her mood. She is deeply affected by her experiences and, returning to the hotel where Mike and Jane have been recovering, Caroline is a changed woman.
Faced with family problems, Caroline and Sandra acknowledge that their lives need to change and some very difficult decisions must be made. To be an unencumbered woman comes with a price, but are they willing to pay.
This novella is framed by a collection of seven short stories, each of which explore women’s relationships with power. The short stories explore female struggles with sexuality, political ambitions, revenge and living with the consequences of their actions.