It's 1921 Mexico. Ne'er-do-well sea captain Dugger and his sardonic friend Nello break out of jail and set sail for a new beginning in Tahiti. Aboard are two mysterious passengers: a beautiful escapee from an Irish convent, searching for her twin brother; and a French master spy, hunting the leader of an anticolonial rebellion. But both are searching for more than they admit to-both have enormous secrets of the heart. After a hurricane-battered sea voyage, Gauguin's beguiling Tahitian daughter pilots them through a mountainous jungle of recent infanticide and cannibalism. Aiding the rebels, they provoke the French navy's unleashed revenge in a breathtaking chase through violent black squalls and treacherous reefs. Friendship, love, loyalty, and faith are in a crucible. The exhilarating quest unravels amid the uprising of a doomed culture and the startling convergence of the characters' destinies.