The Crimean war is raging a world away from London. Martha Lackland, Abel Lackland's daughter, astonishes her family and friends by announcing her intention to go to the Crimea to work amongst the British soldiers. After the initial shock, her family rally round to help her raise money for food and medicines. Once in Scutari, Martha meets Florence Nightingale. She also meets a surgeon - the dashing Alexander Laurence and love grows between them amidst the devastation of war.