AUSTRALIAN. When Roberta 'Bertie' Lightfoot is crippled by polio, her world collapses. But Mama doesn't tolerate selfpity, and Bertie is nobody if not her mother's daughter - until she sets her heart on becoming an artist. But when the family moves to Port Moresby in 1955, Bertie starts to rebel against her mother's strict control. Bertie is determined to be the master of her own life canvas and secretly learns techniques of drawing and painting under the tutelage of her mother's arch rival. But Roberta isn't the only one deceiving her family. As secrets come into the light, the domestic varnish starts to crack, and jealousy and passion threaten to irrevocably mar the relationship between mother and daughter.