Set after the close of the 1905 revolution, The Turbulent Tide revolves around the life of Katrina, an orphaned girl who was sent to live on the estate of her uncle, Count Ivan Kozakov. Finding that she is unwanted by her aunt, she flees into the woods where she meets and is befriended by a peasant boy, Peter Sovinsky. When he learns that she belongs to the manor on the hill, he explains to her that their friendship will not be allowed, but a bond is formed that last through the years that follow.

Throughout the pages of the book, readers will witness the elegant lifestyle of the aristocratic Kozakovs with their elaborate ball and picnics as contrasted with the humble hard working existence of the peasant Sovinsky family. After the first war erupts, Peter flees and joins the army. The war changes all of their lives. Woven around the fictional characters are the real historical figures such as the Czar and Czarina. Rasputinís and the royal familyís deaths are portrayed, as well as the final disposal of their remains.

At the end of the novel, characters are reunited and the turbulent tide of the war and revolution have swept away the previous barriers of class, wealth, and their differences in religion and political beliefs, allowing the characters to be free to claim the chance for love.