In 1890, Henry Oades decided to undertake the arduous sea voyage from England to New Zealand in order to further his family's fortunes. Here they settled on the lush but wild east coast - although it wasn't long before disaster struck in the most unexpected of ways.
A local tribe, incensed at their treatment at the hands of the settlers, kidnapped Mrs Oades and her four children, seemingly vanishing into the rugged hills surrounding the town. Henry searched ceaselessly for his family, but two grief-stricken years later was forced to conclude that they must be dead. In despair he shipped out to San Francisco to start over, eventually falling in love with and marrying a young widow.
In the meantime, Margaret Oades and her children were leading a miserable existence, enslaved to the local tribe. When they contracted smallpox they were cast out and, ill and footsore, made their way back to town, some five years later.
Discovering that Henry was now half a world away, they were determined to rejoin him. So months later they arrived on his doorstep and Henry Oades discovered that he had two wives and many dilemmas ...
This an extraordinary novel about love and family from an astonishing new talent.