On an autumn day in London, the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryam Mazar surface violently with tragic consequences for her pregnant daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew, Saeed. Racked with guilt, Maryam is compelled to leave the safe comfort of her suburban home and mild English husband to return to Mazareh, the remote village on Iran's north-eastern border where her story began. There she must face her past and the memories of a life she was forced to leave behind.
In her quest to piece the family back together, Sara follows her mother to Iran, to discover the roots of her unhappiness and to try to bring her home. Far from the terraced streets of London, among the snow-capped mountains and windswept plains that have haunted her mother's dreams for half a century, Sara finally learns about the terrible price Maryam once had to pay for her freedom, and about the love of the man who still waits for her.