As Europe moves inexorably towards disaster during the thirties, a new generation of the Neyler family grows up. Louis Rose returns to England for his father's funeral, only to find that he has lost his mistress to his nephew. His son Simon, meanwhile, has matured and is embarking on his first love affair. Val, Simon's cousin, visits Berlin for the Olympics, but finds herself experiencing first-hand the prejudice which is gripping Germany. Before she knows it she is caught up in the tragedy of a Jewish family struggling to escape the Nazi horror.
The dramas, joys and sorrows of the whole Neyler family are unfolded in this fascinating and moving saga set against the poignant background of a world hurtling towards war.