A nineteenth-century American missionary widow embarks on a daring quest to find her dark-skinned child. India, 1857: Anna Wheeler Roundtree, missionary wife, flees her husband’s pious tyranny, leaving the safety of the Protestant Mission in which she’s spent most of the past decade. Her timing is bad: the train carrying her to freedom steams into the midst of the brutal Indian Rebellion. She is, however, plucked from danger by Ashok Montgomery, a wealthy Anglo-Indian tea planter. Together they escape the angry mobs and find the shelter of an isolated mountain cave. There, for the first time, Anna learns the true nature of love.
New York City, 1860: Now a successful poet featured in national magazines, Anna Wheeler is astonished to learn that the daughter she bore upon her return was not stillborn, as she was told, but has been kidnapped. When Anna hears the baby described as “dark-skinned,” she realizes that Ashok, the man she’d left behind in the tumult of the rebellion, is the true father, not her blond, fair-skinned husband. In her own racially inflamed nation on the verge of its own war, Anna throws respectability to the wind, learns to take risks, break rules, and trust strangers in a determined search for the little girl. Then a deranged voice arises from her tormented past, making demands that compel her back to India. Anna must confront the evil that set her running in the first place. Will her daring quest for her child, and for the love of her life, end in triumph or in heartbreak?