Orphaned teenager Nathalie Frost is on her way to London to stay with her mother’s sister, Aunt Ruth, and Ruth’s famous husband, the celebrated popular novelist Hans Frost. She arrives on the evening of Hans Frost’s 70th birthday celebration, and Aunt Ruth bundles Nathalie off to her bedroom to get her out of the way. Hans himself is something of a side character in the household, for despite their critical acclaim, his books don’t bring in that much income, and his wife’s wealth provides the luxury he has enjoyed since their marriage. Hans and Nathalie meet that night and are immediately taken with each other, much to Ruth’s jealous dismay. The entry of Nathalie into his world is the catalyst which Hans has needed to wake him from his slump; his next move shocks the literary and social world. Nathalie meanwhile is learning about love from a Russian emigre; her life as well is changed beyond recognition by her close relationship with her uncle and the influence they have on each others’ lives.