Agnes La Grange is a headstrong, ambitious, sexually independent young Englishwoman with a desire, as she puts it, "for a future of my own making". Just after World War I, she emigrates to Durban, taking a position in the household of an old wealthy businessman. Agnes's employer is soon captivated by her confident beauty, and thus begins a dangerous but extremely fruitful liaison.
This unusual, mesmerising tale follows the rise and fall of Agnes's fortune. Her story shows what it takes for a woman to survive, and how little that cost has changed over time.