When the lives of four debutantes are interrupted by WW1, they emerge as women determined to change the world. At the mysterious Miss Lily's secret 'school', young women selected from Europe's royalty and highest families learn how to captivate a man - as a husband, or at a dinner party, in a salon or at a grouse shoot. For in 1914, persuading men is the only true power a woman has. Sophie Higgs is not upper crust. She is colonial Australian, the daughter of a corned beef millionaire. But of all Miss Lily's 'lovely ladies', Sophie may be the only one to understand Miss Lily's true ambition: to stop the almost inevitable war between the British and German empires. And only Sophie may have the courage to carry out a desperate plan to block use of the most terrifying weapon of the war.