1909, Northumberland. Shona has always secretly thought of her husband James's fishing boat as the enemy but one day, her worst fears come true. Unjustly blamed for the accident, Shona finds herself alone and friendless. A world away, Harry Darling has achieved wealth and respectability in Durham, but he has never forgotten the poverty he suffered in his childhood - nor the kindness of a young girl, Shona Hardy, who took him in when he needed help.
1920, Durham. Since she was a child, Lucy Charlton has dreamed of working with her father in the family solicitor's firm. But a scandal shatters her dreams and, when her father disowns her, she finds herself on the streets, fighting for survival. Joe Hardy has returned to London after the Great War to find his life in tatters - his father is dead and his pregnant fiancée has disappeared. Then Joe learns he's unexpectedly inherited an old river house in Durham from a stranger called Margaret Lee.
A heart-wrenching family saga for fans of Dilly Court and Val Wood. Kath walked for so long that she wanted to lie down in the snow and sleep, but she thought of her sister and knew she must go on. Soon the snow was so deep that she couldn't move. She could feel her shoes disintegrating, and her feet were numb. The sky cleared, and a great big moon came out, and there were so many stars. She remembered what her mother had said before she died, that each star was one of her people.
1915. As a child it never mattered to Blake that he had no mother, that no one knew who his father was. He was secure in his grandparents' love, happy on their farm in the Yorkshire dales. But when his grandparents die suddenly, Blake's world collapses. Taken in by a neighbouring farmer as hired help, Blake's life becomes focused on the land--and on his secret love for Annie, his employer's daughter.
Emma Appleby's arrival in the County Durham village of Tow Law is sudden and mysterious, provoking deep suspicion in the locals. And because she has a child with her, seemingly out of marriage, they want nothing to do with her - except for pub landlord Mick Castle. When Emma opens an academy and sets herself up in competition with the local school, she provokes a savage response from the community.