Ottawa, Canada, 1934. Seventeen-year old Frances McFadden is plucked from the tedium of school routine and the control of a domineering mother to work for the new Bank of Canada. Like many hard-working women of her generation, she comes to wield tremendous power without any of the trappings of authority. Many noble acts, some skinny-dipping. In late August 1939, Frances is sent on a secret mission to Warsaw, where the Polish gold reserves tempt a rapacious neighbour.