A bloody Civil War has been raging in the fictitious country of Carthinia. One of the many atrocities committed during the war was Colonel Ivan Karovitch’s rape of a young Carthinian girl, the murder of her boyfriend and her parents. The rape victim takes refuge in a convent where she gives birth to a daughter Natalie. When just a few months old Natalie is adopted by an English couple and brought to the UK. Ivan flees to the UK and begins a new life here. He marries and runs a flower shop with his English wife revealing nothing of his past to her. They have a daughter Jessica. When Jessica’s mother dies, her father Ivan comes to live at Jessica’s house in an annex. Ivan retires and spends his days tending his allotment and the garden.