Son and daughter of diplomats in Cairo, the gentle Serena Pasha and Mark Holt are good-looking and privileged, growing up in a magical world of champagne breakfasts and midnight picnics at the pyramids. Their lives entwined since childhood, they grow ever closer as adults. Yet Serena's hand has been promised not to Mark, but to his brother, Greg.
However, as the Second World War speeds closer to Cairo, a terrible accident gives these young lovers a second chance - and with this chance comes terrible dangers. Egypt is threatened not only by the German army but by nationalist forces within Cairo determined to end the British occupation at any cost. The country torn apart, and with enemies on all sides, Mark and Serena's love is tested to the limit.