Orphaned while aboard a ship from Ireland, Lavinia arrives on the steps of a plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Lavinia bonds with her adopted family, though she is set apart by her white skin. When Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house and finds herself straddling two different worlds, she is forced to make a choice.
In 1942 Hong Kong Will Trusdale falls into a passionate affair with Trudy Liang. When WWII strikes, Will is sent to an internment camp, while Trudy is forced to form an alliance with the head of the Japanese gendarmerie. Ten years later, Claire Pendleton arrives in Hong Kong and meets Will. As secrets emerge, Claire learns that sometimes the price of survival is love.
1940. Frankie, reporting from the Blitz in London knows that if she can get the right story, it will wake Americans to action. Listening across the ocean is Iris, a postmistress who believes in her job to deliver and keep people's secrets, and Emma, the wife of a Doctor. When Emma's husband follows the call to war the lives of the three women entwine.
Spring 1940. With Britons facing what has become known as "the Bore War," Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the disappearance of a local lad, a young apprentice craftsman working on a government contract. At the same time, a boy Maisie knows and loves goes missing too.
Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.