Olivia Ozanne sets off to visit her daughter Caitlin in Moscow expecting nothing more than an interesting holiday. When she meets Volodya and is introduced to his landladies, the Brown Auntie and the Grey Auntie, everything changes. She realizes that the Brown Auntie is not Russian but an Englishwoman, Mary Martha, who has lived in Russia for seventy years. Suddenly, Olivia is involved in a strange world, as she tries to unravel Mary Martha's story and get her back to England. And having found Volodya, are they now doomed to be parted?