Marli is staying with her dad in Melbourne, and missing her friends. Then she discovers a mystery - a crumbling, abandoned mansion is to be returned to her family after ninety years. Marli sneaks into the locked garden to explore, and meets Luca, a boy who has his own connection to Riversleigh.
A peacock hatbox, a box camera and a key on a velvet ribbon provide clues to what happened long ago . . .
In 1922, Violet is fifteen. Her life is one of privilege, with boating parties, picnics and extravagant balls. An army of servants looks after the family - including new chauffeur Nikolai Petrovich, a young Russian emigre.
Over one summer, Violet must decide what is important to her. Who will her sister choose to marry? What will Violet learn about Melbourne's slums as she defies her father's orders to help a friend? And what breathtaking secret is Nikolai hiding?
Violet is determined to control her future. But what will be the price of her rebellion?