In the early years of the twentieth century, the rich English aristocrat, Lord Delamere, led a group of well-off pioneers out of the northern deserts into the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. He immediately fell in love with its spectacular grandeur and its fertile lands. He saw opportunities for big profits for the European bwanas. It did not take long for him to discover, too, the fierce passions of the tribal loyalties that divided its people.
A hundred years on, European Kenyans run their prosperous flower farms on the shores of the freshwater jewel of Lake Naivasha in the heart of the Great Rift. The McCalls of Londiani are well-loved employers of a workforce of hundreds of local people whose skills produce top quality roses and carnations for export for the Dutch flower market.
In this tranquil, idyllic place, two young people fall deeply in love. Tom, eldest son of the third generation of McCalls, and the talented and beautiful Rebecca Kamau, laundry girl at Big House, enjoy nurturing their dreams of their future lives together.
All these hopes are threatened by the reappearance out of their past of Julius, spoilt son of Abel Rubai, the rich, ruthless, shadowy power who dominates much of the life of the country. Tom and especially Rebecca have strong reasons for disliking and fearing this arrogant reminder of years gone by. Fierce passions, previously hidden, suddenly erupt. Violence enters the lives of the lakeside people. Racial tensions are never far from the surface. Love and lust confront each other in the struggle for supremacy. A girl’s heart and mind are in desperate conflict. The power of her love helps her to make an agonising decision. Will it be enough to protect the man who means more to her than life itself?