Teresa is a spirited young girl chafing under the oppressive attitudes of 1930s society, and her father in particular. She fancies her poverty-stricken Latin tutor Johnathan Crow, without realising he merely considers her a pleasant diversion and nothing more, and eventually follows him from Sydney to London. En route she meets the gentle banker James Quick. Whilst navigating her relationships in London, including with a political poet bound for the Spanish Civil War, she experiences a transformation in her understanding of love. Based upon Christina Stead's best-selling Australian novel.