From the day he was born, Michael Sykes has had every whim indulged. A child of privilege, luxury, and unfulfilled expectations, he is a man driven to love--with varying degrees of success and failure. The unconditional mothering love of his widowed mother has set him up for seemingly impossible relationships with women. In Australia, Michael works for the American Legation in Sydney and woos Anne, his femme fatale, yet eventually he will marry Gloria, but Anne will always remain for him a part of the unattainable brightness of the world. Michael and Anne, after the consummation of their relationship, join his best friend, Ralph (Gloria's brother), in his sailboat and they are lost in a hurricane with Michael as the sole survivor. Feeling desolate, Michael makes a slow recovery in hospital, but after studying for a year in Europe, he returns to Australia and marries Gloria, entering the brokerage business founded by his father. Can this young man be healed and live up to the high expectations that his mother has held for him, or must he be forever condemned by a broken heart at the loss of Anne?