The year is 1968. Susan Kimball, an unwordly American on her first visit to Istanbul, meets an older Turkish woman who invites her to stay in her family's villa on the Princes' Islands. Looking forward to a quiet holiday in this exotic and romantic setting, Susan soon finds herself lost in a maze of family plots, hatreds and rivalries. Plump and self-deprecating, she is unlikely heroine, but Susan plunges in with humor and enthusiasm to unravel and deal with the complex, baffling drama unfolding around her. Through her eyes, we are swept onto a psychological roller-coaster that includes love, death and glimpses into the Ottoman past. Only in the last scenes do the pieces of this puzzle fall into place -with a twist.