It is 1815, and Napoleon has been defeated. Lieutenant Ralph Fairfax returns to England haunted by his war in Spain. His hopes for peace are shattered by the secret his father never confessed. Instead of marrying his neighbour Flavia Stanton, he is kidnapped, and wakes as a convict, bound for the prison colony of New South Wales. Here he must fight to survive, trapped between his conflicting identities as gentleman and convict. Meanwhile Flavia, devastated by Ralph's desertion, tries to rebuild her life. But her generosity and growing awareness of injustice set her at odds with her family. A fateful decision plays out against the demands for political reform, which culminate in the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. Written with a strong sense of the social turmoil of the post-Napoleonic war era, this poignant love story follows the fates of two people swept up in the currents of their times. War and revolution have disrupted the old order. In both England and Australia, new voices demand their rights.