Hardworking London governess Helen Davenport longs for a family of her own but knows the prospect of finding a suitable husband grows dimmer each year. Then she spots an advertisement seeking wives for the churchgoing bachelors of colonial New Zealand and begins an affectionate correspondence with a gentleman farmer. Meanwhile, not far away in Wales, society life bores Gwyneira Silkham, beautiful, daring daughter of a wealthy sheep breeder. She finds an unexpected escape when her father loses a blackjack hand to a mysterious New Zealand baron -- and Gwyn's hand in marriage goes to the baron's son. The women cross paths on the ship to Christchurch -- Helen traveling steerage, Gwyn first class -- and form an unlikely friendship, one they'll rely on when the husbands awaiting them turn out very different than they'd imagined. This nineteenth-century saga of two unforgettable young women -- navigating a new world and finding friendship, romance, and adventure at every turn -- is as lush and sweeping as the hills of New Zealand themselves.