A story of love and loss, racial prejudice and the search for selfhood in two women from generations 170 years apart. The backdrop of the 1840 French settlement of Akaroa, with its established Maori community, enriches this novel with the diversity and complexity that make up the New Zealand heritage.
Sue Spencer’s marriage is being tested, she has to confront her mortality and her children are growing away from her. She embarks on a search for meaning in her life, for a better sense of who she is. Her quest takes her to Akaroa, to France and back, tracing her genealogy. It leads to her great-great-grandmother, Bibi Dujardin, who crossed the world in a converted whaler to settle the land and claim it for France. But Sue’s discoveries about her ancestry place further pressure on strained family relationships.