Deaf Kate, in her humdrum old age, is suddenly confronted by a lively skeleton from her family's past. From this, and subsequent encounters, the history emerges about her adventurer father, Samuel's, life and relationships in Ireland and China. We are introduced to Kate's clever but disturbingly odd husband Geoffrey, and the disastrous choices he makes on his own, and her, behalf. Kate faces dramatic changes from being a respectable middle-class Victorian Miss in Colonial Chefoo, briefly experiences life amongst professionals in the Japan of the Last Emperor; to becoming an impoverished but beloved housewife and mother in war-torn England. Based on a true story, this is a compelling tale of love, adventure, and of overcoming enormous odds.