In 1940 when London bombing begins Jean Shapwick is evacuated to Cornwall. After her own parents are killed she is adopted by foster parents, falls in love with their son David and marries him. David’s best friend Tom is devoted to Jean, but realizes his love is not returned. As David restlessly strives to acquire wealth, he tires of family life in the country and disappears abroad leaving Jean with two small children. David’s best friend Tom finds love with Jean. David returns to Cornwall only to leave for another country when he discovers Jean no longer wants him in her life. He finds new love and settles down with his growing family until tragedy intervenes. Meanwhile the next generation find the actions of their elders threaten to destroy their own fragile futures, until David’s second wife reveals the truth and enables his son to find the end of his own rainbow.
This story follows members of Jean’s family from Cornwall, England to South Africa and America.