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On December 26, 2004 the earth erupted under the waters of the Indian Ocean.
For Canadian aid worker Ayla Harris, her first overseas mission to post-tsunami Indonesia presents the perfect opportunity for escape. A failed romance with a married man and a strained relationship with her twin sister have left her suffering a general sense of ‘detachment’.
But a late night call on the eve of her departure reminds Ayla the bonds of love can be tenacious. It turns out her wheeler-dealer brother-in-law, Robert Trasque, has gone missing in Thailand.
However, it is the injured orphan Mahdi who restores Ayla’s soul with a single word: mother. In his child’s eyes she discovers the extent of her connection to the world.
From the devastated tourist beaches of Southeast Asia to the graveyard that was Banda Aceh, Ayla sets out on a personal mission – to find her sister’s gold-hungry husband and return him to his family.
In the midst of universal tragedy, what is the value of a single life? Can Ayla expose a killer and avoid becoming the next victim as she and her team struggle to bring hope to a region that is drowning in despair?