It is 1885, and Amy Chen is still in black, more than a decade after the death of her beloved husband Charles. But her widow's weeds belie a determined young woman with a big ambition: Amy is going to build the grandest rural hotel in the colony of New South Wales, complete with its very own ‘ascending cabinet'.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Eliza Miller, has dreams of her own - to become one of Australia's first female doctors. However when she returns to Millbrooke from her medical studies at the Sorbonne, she finds the job she thought was hers has been taken … by a man.
Over the course of two turbulent years both women will face difficult choices – love or duty? Career or marriage? Is it possible to have it all …?