1927, the Prussian Empire smashes down Great Britain and France, because the United States stays out of the war. Scientists race to understand atomic power, and Dr Ottilie Loveless-Pride, who studied with Madame Curie, is in the lead.
Rich and wild, young Veronica "Nica" Walsh's life is in ruins. Languishing on her Aunt Blossom's estate in Pennsylvania, Nica finds she can't stay in her cocoon of remorse. Ottilie's ex-husband Jasper Pride appears, begging Nica to help him find Ottilie. Their son, Tucker is very ill.
Nica's own little brother suffers from the same epidemic illness: polio.
The chase is on to find Ottilie. From Warm Springs, Georgia to New Mexico, by car and train and airplane, Nica finds she's embroiled in a race where the very survival of the human race is at stake.