'Once We Were Sisters' is the story of Maxine and Sheila Kohler. Growing up in the suffocating gentility of 1950s South Africa, the girls plan grand lives for themselves that will bring them out of the long shadow cast by their father's death and their overbearing mother's bullying. Maxine is just shy of her 40th birthday when her husband, a brilliant and respected surgeon, drives their car off the road and kills her. Devastated, Sheila returns to South Africa, determined to find answers to her sister's sudden death at the hands of her husband. More haunting, however, are the questions. How had she failed to protect her sister? Was Maxine's murder a matter of accident, or destiny? What lies in the soil of their troubled motherland that condemns its women to such violence?