The story is set in a fantasy Britain. The roles of black and white have been reversed and amplified. Noughts are second-class white people who on the poverty line. Crosses are empowered and rich black people. In the midst of this are Callum and Sephy who, as best friends, their relationship is frowned upon by society, a secret from Sephy's mother, and not approved by Callum's family. Their friendship goes from strength to strength and they develop an intimate connection. However, as the racial problems increase it pushes this secret relationship to an ultimatum. This story follows the emotional rollercoaster of how these two young and very different people would stop at nothing to be together.
Sephy Hadley is the main character of this novel. She is a 14 year old Cross, daughter of a prominent politician. Her father strongly objects to any contact with Noughts however Sephy takes no notice of her father intentions as she is very passionate in what she believes in. This character is compassionate and logical but can become easily depressed as she is very idealistic. As Sephy is very young her naive personalitly shines through. Sephy finds herself in love with Callum, who has been her best friend all her life – as her father disagrees with this she becomes determined that she will stop at nothing to be with Callum.
As Sephy arrives home one night after a secret meeting with Callum as she realises how amazing her life would be if only she were allowed so see Callum without all the secrets and lies –
“My smile slowly faded as an unbidden thought crept into my head. There was just one thing that stopped by day from being entirely...