`Bear,' she cried. `I love you. Pull my head off.'
Lou is a shy and diligent librarian at the local Heritage Institute. She lives a mole-like existence, buried among maps and manuscripts in her dusty basement office. With nothing and no one to go home to, she resigns herself to passionless sex on her desk with the Institute's Director.
When she is summoned to a remote island to inventory the house and estate of the late Colonel Jocelyn Cary, she takes it as an opportunity to head north and get out of the city, hoping for an industrious summer of cataloguing.
Colonel Cary left many possessions behind, but no one warned her about the bear. Lou soon begins to anticipate the bear's needs for food and company. But as summer blooms across the island and Lou shakes off the city, she realises the bear might satisfy some needs of her own.