When Julie Summers' car breaks down in the sleazy street where she meets her Retro-Sixties friends, a young Arab garage mechanic emerges from beneath the chassis of a vehicle to aid her. Out of this meeting develops an extraordinary story of unpredictable and relentless emotions that turn on its head each one's notions of the other. No action by either is what the other expects. She insists, against his know-how of the rules of survival, on leaving the country with him when he is deported. The love affair becomes a marriage - that state she regards as a social convention appropriate to her father's set - but decreed by her 'grease-monkey' (as her friends privately dub him) in order to present her respectably to his family. In the Arab village, while he is dedicated to escaping, again to what he believes is a fulfilling life in Western-style countries, she is drawn by a counter-magnet of new affinities in his close family and the omnipresence of the desert.