Claire’s childhood is shaped by the Tasmanian farm she knows and loves. As an ex-POW, her father has struggled to return to a normal life through working the farm, and Claire has always assumed she will run the property herself one day. When there appears to be little chance of that, she looks elsewhere for an understanding of self and home.
Japan seems an unlikely place to discover a sense of identity. Claire finds a way into the culture through the Zen art of ink painting, and her dreams take on a new shape when she meets Toshiyuki. His mother has left post-war Japan for Paris, and Toshi is searching for his own cultural roots.
Together Claire and Toshiyuki try to make sense of their personal and family histories and create their own ways of belonging. But the past has a habit of reappearing to define the present.