A house carved fine as a jewelry box, a painted garden, an angel in a palm tree. These are only some of the marvels of the Russian estate on which Nina Karsavina grows up, surrounded by her beautiful mother, her eccentric father, her sister Katya, and the housekeeper Darya. But when her father gradually loses his sanity after the death of her mother, Nina takes the difficult decision to leave her homeland behind and marry a complete stranger. Over the next 80 years, the family will scatter across the globe in the wake of the Russian Revolution and two World Wars. It is only when Nina's own granddaughter Julia, an artist, begins a search for her roots that the family's tragic history can be pieced together for the first time.