Stifling, Iris Black's Cairo house is disturbed by unexpected arrival of troubled, willful granddaughter Ruby from England. Although she hasn't seen Iris for many years, they form an unlikely bond. Ruby helps Iris document deteriorating memories of glittering, cosmopolitan Cairo. WW2 one true love, enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux, was lost to war. Iris’ early devastation shaped daughter, granddaughter, and leads them into terrible danger in the Egyptian desert.