To the North the railways have rusted away, and rumours of war rumble on. But in the South, on the beautiful island of Cape Formosa, the days still pass in heat and wind and silence. Separated from the ravaged Mainland by a shallow channel known as the Wading, the Cape seems a tropical idyll, intact and at peace. But when the regular supply aircraft is crippled in a storm, stranding the pilot and his granddaughter Claudette on the island, the dreamy calm of the Cape is broken, and a long-delayed confrontation between two of its most enigmatic figures can no longer be avoided. For Muller, the long-retired servant of a previous regime, the island is a place of exile and of redemption. For the young Steven Bee, the headstrong son of martyrs, it is a prison. Now, after decades of promises left unmade and confessions left unspoken, both men must face change, and come to understand, through the little girl, the shifting, half-hidden meanings of love, of loss, and of betrayal.