Australia, 1871. Following her mother's sudden death, Joanna Drury sets sail from India and arrives in Melbourne to claim the property left to her by her mother - and to trace the mysteries of her family's past. From her first steps on shore, Joanna becomes entangled with a lost boy who leads her to the fascinating Hugh Westbrook. She agrees to look after the child in exchange for Hugh's help in finding her inheritance. But she falls deeply in love with Hugh and with life at his sheep station, Merinda.