It is 1946 and the people of France and England are facing the aftermath of the War. Sent by her beautiful, indolent mother to England, Barbary Deniston is thrown into the care of her distinguished father and conventional stepmother. Barbary has spent her childhood years in the sunshine of Provence. During the War, she ran wild with the Maquis, experiencing collaboration, betrayal and resistance. In peacetime the young woman has been taken away from all she knows and placed into the drab austerity of postwar London life.
Confused and unhappy, she discovers the flowering bomb craters around St Paul's Cathedral. Here, in the bombed heart of London, with the outcasts living on the edge of society, she finds an echo of the wilderness of Provence and is forced to confront the wilderness within herself.