From Cuba to the sugar cane fields of North Queensland, Australia, came Mariano Grau - 'Big Cuba' - with dreams as immense as the wilderness before him. His silent young daughter, Marini, was at his side. Determined to start fresh in this untamed world and 'build an empire that will depend only on him,' Big Cuba shares his ambitions with his attentive child, hypnotizing her with almost mythical tales of his fettered past, his lost family home in Spain, and his mysterious and absent wife in Cuba. Upon his death, Big Cuba's aspirations are not fully realized, and the teenaged Marini inherits her father's modest plantation - and his incredible dreams. Compelling, enigmatic, and willful, Marini blossoms into a woman the Australian farmers cannot fathom. Battling prejudice, a loveless marriage, and Australia's harsh natural elements, Marini pours her energy into building the plantation and moulding a perfect life for her son. She single-handedly takes control and conquers a farm labourers' strike and then succeeds with a booming business and a spectacular 'magical house'. But tragically, when Marini begins a passionate affair with her husband's brother, the miracle begins to crumble. Marini learns too late that in the heart of self-willed creation lies the seed of destruction. (Source: Libraries Australia).