From one of Canada's finest historical novelists, an intricately woven story of revenge, deception, love and redemption set against the turbulent social upheavals of 1860s Russia.
For Antonina, the wife of a wealthy Russian landowner, the world falls apart one cold spring afternoon when her husband takes her little boy, Misha, out riding. Set upon by kidnappers on horseback, the boy is stolen and the count wounded. Beautiful, musical and sheltered, Antonina is at first stunned and grief-stricken, then helpless as the count sickens and dies.
Desperate, and surrounded by serfs and servants unsettled by the collapse of the old order, Antonina turns to Grisha, the estate steward, for help in getting her son back. He is a man of relentless competence and ambition, and she is drawn to his strength, unaware that he is both driven and crippled by secrets he hoped he'd left behind him in the land of his birth, Siberia. In her search for her lost boy, Antonina faces betrayals that are literally murderous, and finds strengths she had no idea she possessed as she wanders the crumbling halls of Angelkov, pitting her wits against people turned erratic and cruel. In the end, her fate, and the fate of her son, hangs on the way love can sometimes transform even the deepest of hatreds.