When a group of mining executives bring their wives to the South Pacific paradise of Paui, vacation is not on their minds. Having found rare minerals on the island, they are determined to strike a swift deal for mining rights. While their husbands visit a copper mine, the women explore the beautiful coast by luxury yacht. On the return trip, the yacht breaks down and they are forced to finish the journey on foot. But as they near the hotel, their pleasure trip becomes a nightmare. The panic-stricken women tear back to the jungle, where they learn survival tricks from the ship's captain. The once-shy Annie is nominated leader of the rest: Silvana, a wealthy, distant matron; the athletic, high-strung Patty; outspoken Carey; and Suzy, a sensuous, spoiled child. As misfortune rains down on the group, opportunity also has a way of magically appearing as the castaways battle jungle, cannibalistic natives and their own frightening desires with a gritty determination that belies their pampered pasts. And only Harry, tough Australian mining executive, refuses to believe the lost women are dead and, driven by his love for one of the women, starts a search . . .
Shirley Conran is the bestselling author of many books, including Lace, which was made into a miniseries, and Superwoman. She worked as a columnist for Vanity Fair, was women's editor of the Daily Mail and a feature writer for the Observer. She has two sons, the designers Sebastian and Jasper Conran.