In 1881, the finest of the great sugar mills opens in Southern Queensland. Established by ‘Big Jim’ Durham, an English soldier for his young French wife, Elianne Desmarais, and names it in her honour. Soon, the massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress and home to hundreds of workers, but ‘Elianne’ and its masters, the Durham Family, have dark and distant secrets.
For Kate Durham and her brothers Neil and Alan, freedom is the catchword of the 1960s. As young Australians leap to the barricades of the social revolution, rock ‘n’ roll, the Pill, the Vietnam War, the rise of Feminism, Asian immigration and the Freedom Ride join forces to rattle the chains of traditional values and shake down the secrets of Elianne and the Durham family.