The Coles have lived in Middlemere, an isolated farm, for half a century. When, in 1942, the family are threatened with eviction, Martha Cole and her small son, Jem, flee the house, leaving 8 year old Romy to witness her father's death. Years later, Martha has remarried, but Romy, at 19, has never forgotten - or forgiven - the violence and injustice of the Coles' eviction. Quick, clever and single-minded, she schemes to restore the family fortunes. Most of all, she longs to escape the poverty and narrowness of her surroundings. A chance meeting with the owner of a London hotel, the Trelawney, is about to change her life for ever...
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