Edinburgh, late 19th century. Little Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen. In her house on top of a big hill, Madeleine the midwife replaces the defective organ with a cuckoo-clock. It will work, she warns him, as long as Jack doesn’t touch the hands of the clock, doesn’t lose his temper, and, above all, doesn’t fall in love. But Jack’s encounter with a fiery-eyed little girl singing on a street corner and his decision to chase after her across Europe to Andalusia test the resistance of his makeshift heart.