Tilly Trotter isn't like the other girls in the villages of County Durham. Tall and coltish, she's not afraid of taking on 'man's work' to help out the grandparents who raised her. There's an unusual beauty to her too -- a beauty that's envied by the local women and lusted after by the men. But for all the attention Tilly only loves one man, farmer Simon Bentwood, and she's heartbroken to discover that he's betrothed to another. But there are even harder times ahead for Tilly. A spurned suitor takes a terrible revenge. Idle gossip brands her a witch. A betrayal forces her into the cruel drudgery of the local mine and puts her life in danger. But Tilly refuses to let her spirit be broken -- determined that all this will serve only to make her stronger!
Dame Catherine Cookson began writing novels when she was forty and has had nearly one hundred books published. In her twenties she movedHastings where, after the tragic loss of four babies and a mental breakdown, she began to use her experiences in the North East as the inspiration for novels which have sold over one hundred million copies around the world. In 1976 she returned to Northumberland with her husband Tom and continued to write almost up to her death in 1998.