Can a curse strike twice in a woman's life? In 1854, 17-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house. Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her - and for Richard's death soon after in the Crimean War.
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Clara grew up believing that her mother's family had disowned them. But the grandmother Clara never knew is now entreating her to visit Thurnley Hall, the family seat in Yorkshire. The old lady is on her deathbed and anxious to disclose vital family secrets before it's too late - for Clara's unborn child may be cursed with a horrible fate.