Inge meets Theo Valkenburg onboard a passenger ship as he is forced to leave South Africa because of his opposition to the Group Areas Act to separate the black population from the white areas. At the end of their passage to England they make love in a spectacular way which in the years since, she has been unable to forget. He later visits Olaf, her father, in Sweden, where she is in the clutches of her high society mother who manages her career as a leading fashion model.
Many months later she accompanies Olaf on a visit to Theo in Montreal where he encourages her to pursue a new career as a fashion designer and arranges a meeting for her with a famous aviatrix practicing to break the speed record for women aviators and to be the first woman to fly at supersonic speeds. They bond and she winds up living on the woman´s ranch near Los Angeles, to build and establish a successful line of designer clothes.
Theo loses his great love, Sharon, in a shooting incident in the Laurentian Mountains and, emotionally devastated, returns to his family´s farm in the Bushvelt adjacent to the Kruger National Game Preserve, and not far from Inge´s father´s phosphate mine at Phalaborwa. Finding it impossible to resist, she flies to South Africa and shows up unannounced on his farm to claim him as her love for life.
So starts Theo´s new venture into a life filled with surprises and total devotion. They continue to reside on the farm to give him time to recover from his grief. During the course of her stay she falls in love with the wild animals in their midst and adjusts to living on the doorstep of a black tribe of M'Shangaans residing on the farm to whom Theo is deeply devoted. She also learns to love his Dutch mother and his Afrikaner, surgeon father.
Sharon begins calling Theo, "Valkie", a nickname Sharon had coined for him, since he often didn't respond to Theo. Valkie finally decides not to pursue his opportunities in the aerospace field, in favor of joining Olaf in his fluorspar business, and they leave the Bushvelt for Göteborg. There Valkie discovers that her mother is actually still in love with Olaf and they invent a scheme to bring them back together at the annual Göteborg music festival. It works and to satisfy her mother's insistence on social correctness, they arrange a joint wedding of both couples even though Inge is already four months pregnant.
With that behind them, they head for California to find a property in the hills on the east side of the Sierra Nevada near Reno, Nevada, where Valkie establishes a research group at the University of Nevada´s, Reno campus, to advance the state-of-the-art in the use of fluorspar derivatives in very long range lenses for space exploration. Inge gives birth to a beautiful blue-eyed girl, which she names Annika after her mother, knowing full well that she would become known as "Annie". They hire Susan from England to help with Annie´s care and within the first year of Annie´s life she spends most of her days with Annie at the University with Valkie. By then Inge is pregnant with son André.
Valkie buys a twin-engine airplane with lots of speed and range for the business and teaches Inge to fly it from the nearest airport at Carson City to the Odlum Ranch and for him to visit his customers in the south western states as far east as Albuquerque, New Mexico.
André is born and in what seems like a flash, joins the daily routine at the lab with his sister and Susan. Inge and Susan get involved in Yoga with a very persuasive instructor until it almost becomes and obsession, before Valkie brings an end to it, but later becomes involved as well.
Makasa, the tribal chief on the Bushvelt farm dies and Valkie leaves with Inge to pay respect at one of the many days of tribal mourning. A group of white supremacists sneak onto the property to attack them. Forewarned by their neighbors, they hide away on high ground overlooking the homestead, allowing Valkie to shoot out the front tires of their trucks and fire a third shot into the air as a distress signal to the neighbors, who very soon apprehend the villains and turn them over to the police. Dejected, they fly back home to Nevada.
After Inge's second son, William, is born, they begin an annual ritual of spending two weeks visiting the Bushvelt farm which Valkie remains obsessed with. In this way the whole family grows up intensely devoted to this unique place in Valkie´s life. The business booms and the research lab at the university is officially named the Olaf Høkansen Institute. While Inge is pregnant with her last baby, to be named Fiona, she suffers unusual depression and struggles with the idea of Valkie engaging in polygamy to take Susan as his second wife. They all agree that he is overloaded and with Susan's help they recruit Steve Murdock to take over the lab to free up Valkie to administer their growing international business. Steve is in mourning over the loss of his one and only wife and moves into their guest house which finally results in him marrying Susan. With her family complete, Inge gradually turns her fashion design business over to a capable understudy to focus on the mentoring of her beautiful offspring and her total commitment to Valkie.
On one of her trips to her business partner, on approach to the runway at Carson City, she is hit by a freight aircraft and dies in the ensuing fire, leaving Valkie beside himself with grief. Susan and his daughter Annie, the apple of his eye, take him to his beloved Bushvelt farm to mourn their loss. In an attempt to lighten his grief Annie contacts Rebecca, Teresa's daughter, and together they arrange a meeting between the two erstwhile lovers on the Bushvelt farm. Hope springs eternal and with the encouragement of the two daughters they set in motion a union that perhaps should never have failed.