In 1917 the last ship taking indentured labourers from india to the sugar plantations of British Guiana sets sail, taking with it Rampat and Parvati, a childless couple looking for a new future. During a furious storm at sea, a child is born and is put into their arms as the unwed mother dies. They adopt her and call her Neela. From the beginning, Neela's birth givens rise to talk of the mystery surrounding the legend of the sea goddess Ganga and, some 15 years later, Neela is seen as being human and devine, a destroyer and a saviour. A person to be feared. Neela's story, told against a backdrop of slavery and indentureship, of family and community, and of the growing racial conflict between Indians and Africans reveals a country and a people shaped by history and mythological superstition.