Born the day of the great mining disaster at Jane Pit, Merry Trent's start in life is marked with tragedy. She is brought up by her only surviving relative, her feisty grandmother Peggy, living in poverty-stricken isolation in the deserted village near the old pit. Times are hard, and then an unwelcome visit from the ruthless mining agent, Miles Gallagher, makes them even harder. He callously rapes Peggy, and when she finds to her distress that she is pregnant with his child, she tells no-one. Despite the hardships, they manage to get by, and Merry even begins training as an apprentice nurse. However, pretty and bright, she attracts the attentions of dashing young doctor, Tom Gallagher, Miles' son, and history starts to repeat itself when Merry falls pregnant. She loses both her job and accommodation at the hospital, and her future looks bleak as she faces a tough choice: a marriage of convenience or destitution and the workhouse
Una Horne lives in Saltburn on Sea in Cleveland. Trained as a nurse, she gave up her career to raise a family but began writing when her children were grown up. Her wonderful regional sagas set in the North East have won her a faithful following.