Powerful forces surge through British Guiana as it transforms into independent Guyana, South American forest a bare step away from the towns. Old World chilly proprieties smack against everything the New World embodies. Margaret must navigate her own independence. Scottish, Portuguese, African: all and none of these, this teenager of the emergent Caribbean learns seduction Hollywood-style, but she belongs to more than a century of transgressions. She kisses forbidden faces, the living colours of colonial history. Love and loss come home to her in two men of the river. When Margaret is just fifteen, her father dies. A little later, she packs up her dreams, leaves her riverman and makes the Atlantic crossing. But the spirits of her old geography keep whispering.