Ann Burton was born on a river bank the night her father tried to burn their house down. Six years later her sister Liza disappears while they are staying at their uncle's property. What Ann sees that day robs her of her memory and her speech. Ann escapes her anguished childhood, finding love and a new life away from Mallawindy. But there is no escape from the Burton family and its dark secrets. Ann must return to Mallawindy and confront the past if she is ever to be free.