When Michiel Steyn returns to South Africa for his beloved mother's funeral, he has spent close to half his lifetime abroad. But neither Michiel nor those he left behind have truly come to terms with his terrible flight from the farm they called Paradise. As Michiel submits himself to the rituals of mourning and remembrance in the small town where he became a man, all that has lain undisturbed for a decade and a half is brought to light. A father's implacable fury and a brother's violent death, the betrayal of love and the ugly memory of the dying days of apartheid all come between the prodigal and forgiveness. Michiel finds that he must confront not only his grief for his mother's passing but the painful truth of his own transgressions.