Katerina inherits a spice box after her grandmother Mariam dies. It contains letters and a diary written in Armenian. Katerina learns that Mariam's childhood was shattered by the Armenian tragedy of 1915. Exiled from her home in Turkey and separated from her beloved brother, Mariam's life was marred by grief. Katerina tries to find resolution in her own life as she completes Mariam's story on a journey that takes her across Cyprus and then half a world away to New York.