The story is set in Natal at the turn of the 20th century , when Sita and her family arrive from India to build a new life in South Africa, not suspecting what lies in store for them. Working as indentured labourers on a sugar-cane plantation, life is hard u but for Sita, it is also filled with the joys of growing up, first love and the dawning of passion. Defying tradition, the young girl becomes enmeshed in a forbidden love affair with Albert, the English brother-in-law of the estate owner. Unwillingly at first, Sita is forced into a marriage of her parents' choosing u but her secret passion never dies Years later, when she has settled into marriage and motherhood, Albert returns, and Sita must grapple with her feelings again. The Heart Has No Colour also delves into the criminal underworld of turn-of-the-century Durban. Entwined in Sita's story is the tale of Gopi, her older brother, who comes to ruin in the seedy gambling dens of the big city. Sita's large, loving, emotional family is portrayed in intimate detail.
The story traces their fortunes and misfortunes into the next generation, when Geeta and Sita's children grow to adulthood, and each in their own way reaps the conse