Tilly Trotter has devotedly served Mark Sopwith at Highfield Manor for twelve years. His wife in all but name, theirs is a scandalous yet happy arrangement. But when Mark dies Tilly is left pregnant with his illegitimate child.
Cast out of the manor house by Mark’s spiteful grown-up daughter, Tilly is forced to face the prejudices of the local village. No stranger to hardship, she makes do as best she can but when a villager’s vicious attack leaves her baby son, Willy, half blind she knows that it’s time to leave her native Tyneside.
A new love seems to offer an escape and so she follows her heart to America, sure that this will be the beginning of a better life. But new perils await Tilly across the ocean….