Lottie Archer arrives in Rome excited newly married and ready for change as she takes up a job as an archivist.
When she discovers a valuable fifteenth-century painting, she is drawn to find out more about the woman who left it behind, Nina Lawrence. Nina seems to have led a rewarding and useful life, restoring Italian gardens to their full glory following the destruction of World War Two. So why did no one attend her funeral in 1978? In exploring Nina’s past, Lottie unravels a tragic love story beset by the political turmoil of post-war Italy.
And as she edges closer to understanding Nina, and the city draws her deeper into its life, she is brought up against a past which will come to shape her own future.