Since she is denied a stage on which to act out the normal relationship she craves, she is obliged to work out new strategies almost daily to maintain his interest. He calls her Scheherazade, after the fabled princess of A Thousand and One Nights, who is obliged to work out new strategies nightly in order to save her life.
It is Rodolfo who sets the tempo by manipulating and determining events, even if he would not be so manipulated. He reveals little about himself, and what he does reveal is hardly credible. But Lonia has a few surprises in store for him, a few dark secrets. Only when he discovers them does he show his true nature.
The first chapter, set in the Australian outback, sees an adolescent Lonia in the throes of a bitter, disturbed mother. The rest of the story unfolds and has its dénouement in Florence.