1567: A young man - Lachlan Gilmore - rescues a lady whose cart has become stuck in a ditch, but unbeknownst to him, Lady Annabel Erskine has a secret mission: to keep Mary, Queen of Scots, imprisoned on Castle Island in Lochleven, supplied with garments fit for her high estate. Soon, Lachlan’s sister, talented seamstress Christina, is assisting Lady Annabel in her work. But as their friendship grows, she is unwittingly drawn deeper into the doomed Queen’s affairs….
Four-year-old Annette and Lisette Balfour are sent to live in Scotland after their mother dies in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919. But when an opportunity arises for Lisette to move to London with her mother's wealthy sister, the family seizes it. As they grow up, Annie and Lisette live very different lives, but the bond between the sisters is a deep one.
A married woman with five children and a comfortable home, Mary-Ann Macgregor’s life is full of quiet contentment. It feels like an age since, at just 17, she married Ewan Macgregor, a Scottish blacksmith, for whom she felt affection but not love. But when her son, Davey, befriends a new arrival to the village – Janet, who is poor but prepossessing – he sets in motion a chain of events that leads to disaster.