In 1978, the white government in Rhodesia is holding on to power while losing its grip on the war-torn countryside. The war has been ferociously fought in the rural areas for a number of years, and now those living in the cities are gripped with fear as the momentum gathers and threatens their own backyards.
At this same time, Ruva Ganda-living in Harare, the capital of what would soon become an independent Zimbabwe-is losing her own personal battle with a fifth miscarriage. Ruva; her husband, Mukai; and their twin daughters don't have much, but they are content with their lot. The family's life changes drastically, however, when Mukai is murdered. Ruva takes a job working for a liberal white family and then moves on to manage the farm of Brian Sanderson, a white lawyer. While Ruva's daughters are away at school, a lasting romance-one that crosses racial and social boundaries-develops between Ruva and Brian.
Meanwhile, the lives of her talented daughters move on radically different paths, as Hilda pursues her doctorate while Matie lies about her education. She takes a job on a cruise ship, marries a rich playboy, and moves to London, ignoring her family back home.
Ruva's personal growth continues as she becomes an activist for women's issues, one that carries dangerous consequences. When tragedy strikes again, her family bonds are tested and bring her full circle. Once again, she is reunited in love with those who bid no farewell.