Born to a Russian family of lower nobility, Xenia is a passionate and tender dreamer who unexpectedly falls in love with the dashing Andrei. Though husband and wife are devoted to each other, their perfect happiness is overshadowed by the petty demands of life at the royal court, and by Xenia's growing obsession to have a child—a desperate need that is at last fulfilled with the birth of a daughter. Yet Xenia is fearful that tragedy will strike—a terrible prediction that comes true when the baby dies and then Andrei suffers a fatal fall. Shattered, she withdraws into grief, and then mysteriously vanishes. Years later, Xenia is discovered tending the paupers of St. Petersburg's slums. Revered as a soothsayer and blessed healer to the downtrodden, she is feared by the royal court and it's new empress, Catherine. In this evocative and elegantly written tale, Dean reimagines the intriguing life of Xenia of St. Petersburg, a patron saint of her city and one of Russia's most mysterious and beloved holy figures.