Liz Ward believed that it was possible to have it all. A glittering career, a successful marriage and a happy family. But it doesn't take too long for Liz to realise that taking the job of programme controller at Metro TV could be the biggest mistake of her life. When she confesses to her friends, they are scandalised - Liz is their role model, and she is shattering the myth they must all live by. But she is tired of pretending that there is no price to pay for her success.
Stella Ainsworth has settled for suburban peace with a pedantic husband, a dissatisfied daughter and a clutch of beloved grandchildren - who all take her presence in their lives for granted. Then Cameron Keene, her boyfriend from her teenage years who'd left for America to become a rock icon of the '60s, returns to England. Much to Stella's astonishment, Cameron announces in an interview that his most famous song, which became a legendary love anthem across the world, was written about Stella and that he has come back to find her.
Charlotte Brandon built up Victoriana, her hugely successful clothing business in Dorset, from nothing. Even though it meant putting the needs of the company before those of her two daughters, Connie and Lily. Connie has learnt to live with her mother’s disinterest in a life as a wife and mother, but the rebellious Lily has never accepted it. When Charlotte has a heart attack, and needs her children for the first time in her life, it becomes a fight for survival not only for the family business but for the family itself.
Catherine Hope can control her class of 30 noisy school children, but trying to keep her 17 year old daughter on track for A Levels, that's a different matter. Rachel, usually studious and submissive, is suddenly ripe for rebellion. The reason? Marko: sexy, sultry, countryside campaigner, who's out to save a threatened woodland from destruction. The woodland is on the doorstep of Lavinia, Rachel's conventional, disapproving grandmother.
Ann More, fiery and spirited daughter of the Mores of Loseley House, comes to London destined for a life at the court of Queen Elizabeth. And there she encounters John Donne, the darkly attractive young poet. He is unlike any man she has ever met. Yet as they are thrown together Donne opens Ann's eyes to a new world of passion, wit and sensuality. But Donne is the kind of man her status-conscious father distrusts and despises.