Herbert Pond, the parson, has one daughter, the beautiful eighteen year old Elizabeth, who is courted by the Squire's son, Adam Horrocks. Trouble occurs when Elizabeth falls deeply in love with young Richard de Boville, the son of a wealthy landowner, Sir John de Boville, whose common land enclosures have caused great poverty to local families. Meg Venn, a close childhood friend of Elizabeth, watches her family suffer great hardships. After the death of his wife, Zack Venn turns bitter and violent and takes his daughter to London Distressed by the working conditions in a rough inn where Meg finds employment, she is desperate to leave and is tempted by an offer by a woman who visits the inn. Mrs Duvalle promises Meg a better standard of living but in time Meg finds that the woman has planned a dubious future for her.
Maggie Bennett is the bestselling author of several sagas, in the tradition of Harry Bowling and Meg Hutchinson. She is a former midwife and lives in Manchester.