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. Wracked 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-east border where her story began. There she must face her past and the memories of a life she was forced to leave behind when her father disowned her for a sin she did not commit. Back in England, Sara takes care of Saeed and her distraught father as she tries to understand what has happened. Together they begin to unearth Maryam's story from memories, photographs and a few lines of poetry. In her quest to piece their life back together, Sara follows her mother to Iran, to discover the roots of her unhappiness and to try and bring her home. Far from the terraced streets of London, among the snow-capped mountains and wind-swept plains that have haunted her mother's dreams for half a century, Sara finally learns the terrible price Maryam once had to pay for her freedom, and of the love she left behind.