Catarin Kavanaugh, a beautiful woman, accomplished interior designer, and financially well-off socialite in Miami's high-society, following an irresistible courtship, marries successful Italian investment councelor, Max Ferro. They live a guilded, privileged, exemplar life for ten years, both advancing rapidly in their respective careers, until a series of nearly fatal freak accidents threaten Catarin's life. It seems she's become a magnet for disaster. Following the shocking casual discovery of photos proving her husband's infidelity, she faces him, ordering him out of her life. A quick trip to Switzerland, to remove his name from her accounts, reveals that he has already stolen her fortune. She retreats to recover energy at her uncle's estate inb Provence, before returning with a plan. Back in Miami, she discovers that her husband has also mortgaged her home, and that foreclosure is imminent. Her financial ruin is compounded by the fact that "desperation stinks". Nobody associates with a failure in Miami and that leaves her without work and with no friends. At the last minute, she manages to sell the estate and have a small amount of money left after paying off the bank mortgage. The always more sophisticated accidents continue and, although impossible to prove, it finally becomes apparent that Max is behind the plan to eliminate her. A whole new and very different set of friends rally to her cause. People she never would have bothered with before, become precious and vitally important friends. One of these is just a virtual contact; Johannes Frey, an elderly archeologist who befriends her after an initial misunderstanding when she writes an e-mail he considers offensive. The exchange of e-mails with him comforts and sustains her throughout the whole process of revolutionary change in her life and he rapidly becomes her trusted advisor. A tragicomic divorce with an incompetent lawyer and a woman-bashing judge, frees her from any ties with Max. She starts to learn a new language, auctions her remaining belongs and makes plans to retreat to another country and a new life. She charters a flight on a small private plane, taking along Carmen, her new closest friend, two dogs, two cats and a noisy talking parrot. Destiny leads her to a magical encounter and a dramatically unexpected surprise. She finds love, real love, loses it for her supposedly unwarranted paranoia, but regains it following Max's last and most frightening attempt to murder her during a violent hurricane on the Mexican Riviera in Yucatan.