This historical novel is focussed around a church located in Florence, and what happens to it through different periods of history. The story starts in the present day, with a tour guide taking a family around a museum that originally was the church. The tour guide, Molly Cavendish is the present day link, and as the story changes from the past to the present day, she asks the questions as well as proving the answers to what happened to the "Chiesa di Santa Maria" during its history. This is a tragic story of one man's quest using the brightest and the best talent in Florence of that age. Through time we see the trials and tribulations of the Chiesa di Santa Maria, dating through the Napoleonic War, World War Two and the Florentine Floods of 1966; and the end of the story is based in the present day.