Many noble daughters of Venice are consigned to abbeys for want of a dowry. In 1426, Filipa Barbagio is sent to San Nicolai di Torcello, where she enjoys the hedonistic lifestyle available to her: dressed in the latest fashions, wearing expensive jewellery, attending masquerade balls, entertaining her family and taking men to be her companions. And then she falls in love.Dardi Zorzi loves Clario Duodo, but society expects an arranged marriage with sweet Caterina. Their marriage is difficult at first but gets better over time, especially after the birth of their daughter Lucia. Tragically Caterina is murdered and Dardi is the prime suspect. Filipa comforts and helps her oldest and dearest friend, but then Dardi is accused of the most heinous crime of all. In the aftermath of this terrible denunciation, Filipa risks losing her newly-found love while Dardi risks losing all.