Indulged and wealthy Kat Fitzhubert is sold in an arranged marriage to a colony across the world. Lady Viola Montefiore is the dark-skinned changeling of a ducal family, kept hidden and then shipped away. Titania Boot is as broad as a carthorse, and as useful.
On the long sea voyage from their homeland of England, these three women are fast bonded in an unlikely friendship. In the turmoil of 1850s Australia - which has reinvented itself from convict colony to a land of gold rushes and illusive riches - one woman forges a business empire, while another turns to illegal brewery, working alongside a bushranger as the valleys around her are destroyed. The third vanishes on her wedding day, in a scandal that will intrigue and mystify Sydney's polite society and beyond.