As a war rages on in the province of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, a young girl becomes transfixed by the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, which is being read at school by the only white man in the village.
A beautiful Austrian refugee in England–who is also a Nazi agent–marries a scholarly English pacifist. He lives near a secret military base she needs to get information about so she can help in Hitler’s planned invasion of England.
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.