Eveleen Hardcastle loves her life on Pear Tree Farm in Lincolnshire with her parents Mary and Walter and brother, Jimmy. Although the work is hard, the attentions of young Master Stephen Dunsmore - the son of the Hardcastles' employer - provide Eveleen with a welcome distraction. Mary's disapproval of the unsuitable match drives the young lovers to meet in secret. But it seems deception has a cruel price when Walter is found dead from a heart attack.
The final blow comes with Stephen's callous rejection of Eveleen, and as the Hardcastles are forced to leave Lincolnshire, she resolves never to allow love to enter her heart again - until a stunning discovery about Mary's past causes her to reassess her mother and herself.