This is an epic family history about refugees from Stalin's regime of terror. Full of historical detail on Russia and China, the story follows the flight of two families. One a prosperous clan of merchants, the other ambitious peasants; their lives entwine over many years. Their first destination is China, where the 'White Russians' preserve their culture in the volatile cosmopolitan city of Shanghai in the 1930's and 40's. Forced to flee Communism again after Mao's victory, they enjoy a tropical interlude in the Philippines before finding safer havens in Australia and America. The story comes full circle with the demise of the USSR and the rediscovery of family links that had been torn asunder. Rival political ideologies are explored unflinchingly and the story ends with hope for the future of the emigres' descendents. Most no longer consider themselves Russian but the history of their 'roots' remains a compelling story, not only for them, but for anyone fascinated with the past.