Along with the name Winch, Largo Winczlav inherited a colossal fortune. But where did it come from? Who built his vast empire? What sacrifices proved necessary? 1848. In Ottoman-occupied Montenegro, young doctor Vanko Winczlav is one of the leaders of a popular uprising. Betrayed, wanted by the authorities, he flees the Balkans for the United States in the company of a Bulgarian refugee, Veska, whom he marries to allow her to enter New York legally. So begins the history of a family closely entwined with that of a still new country going through many transformations.