From political intrigue in Washington to an idyllic island in the Pacific based on a true incident in Samoa, 1889 Stockton Livingstone is one of President Grover Cleveland's most trusted advisors and a mainstay of the State Department until his wife dies tragically and he takes a leave of absence to be with his family. But as tensions escalate between the three great powers - England, Germany, and America - over a coaling station on the tiny island of Samoa, the President asks Stockton to return to his duties and accept the post of Ambassador to Samoa. He reluctantly agrees, on the condition that he may take his six children with him. When the Livingstones arrive in Samoa, they find that German forces have effectively set up a puppet regime, using a disgruntled Samoan chief as the figurehead ruler. As tensions between the mighty warships gathered in Apia Bay continue to heighten, Stockton must face the fact that his nation is on the brink of war. But all of the players in this drama suddenly must do battle against a foe mightier than any warship: the great Samoan hurricane of 1889. Will this war prove to be their last?