Five years have passed since Edith Campbell Berry's triumphant arrival at the League of Nations in Geneva, determined to right the wrongs of the world. The idealism of those early grand days has been eroded by a sense foreboding as the world moves ever closer to another war. Edith's life too, has changed: her marriage and her work are no longer the anchors in her life - she is restless, unsure, feeling the weight of history upon her and her world. As her certainties crumble, Edith is once again joined by Ambrose Westwood, her old friend and lover. Their reunion is joyful, and her old anxiety about their unconventional relationship is replaced by a feeling that all things are possible - at least in her private life. But World War II advances inexorably, and Edith, Ambrose and their fellow officers must come to terms with the knowledge that their best efforts, and those of the well-meaning world, are simply useless against the forces of the time.