On assignment in Vienna, photographer Ian Jarrett falls passionately in love with the mysterious and beautiful Marian. Back in the UK, Ian resolves to leave his wife for her - only to find Marian has disappeared, and the photographs of their brief time together have been savagely destroyed. Searching desperately for her, Ian comes across a quiet Dorset churchyard. Here he meets a psychotherapist, who is looking for a missing client of hers: a woman who claims she is the reincarnation of Marian Esguard, who may have invented photography ten years before Fox Talbot.
But why is Marian Esguard unknown to history? And who and where is the woman Ian Jarrett has sacrificed everything for?