1953. After 20 years living in Europe, Sarah Adams returns to Australia. While working as a nurse on the ocean voyage home, Sarah meets the influential and wealthy Bligh family and discovers a scandalous family secret. In Sydney, Sarah finds her estranged mother still unwilling to forgive her perceived "sin" of converting to Judaism. With no other prospects, Sarah takes up George Bligh's offer of a job in the Inverness hospital, much to the disapproval of George's overbearing mother, Elizabeth.