Hardworking London governess Helen Davenport longs for a family of her own but knows the prospect of finding a suitable husband grows dimmer each year. Then she spots an advertisement seeking wives for the churchgoing bachelors of colonial New Zealand and begins an affectionate correspondence with a gentleman farmer.
Meanwhile, not far away in Wales, society life bores Gwyneira Silkham, beautiful, daring daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder. She finds an unexpected escape when her father loses a blackjack hand to a mysterious New Zealand baron — and Gwyn’s hand in marriage goes to the baron’s son.
The women cross paths on the ship to Christchurch — Helen traveling steerage, Gwyn first class — and form an unlikely friendship, one they’ll rely on when the husbands awaiting them turn out very different than they’d imagined.
This nineteenth-century saga of two unforgettable young women — navigating a new world and finding friendship, romance, and adventure at every turn — is as lush and sweeping as the hills of New Zealand themselves.