With money tight in rural northern England of the 1880s, it is easy to discern Hector Stewart's motive when, widowed only two years, he announces to his children that he is to wed a wealthy distant relative from a "castle" in Ireland. But his betrothed, Moira, eager to escape from her family, has not been entirely honest about her finances; she, in turn, has been misled by Hector, and believes she is marrying into landed gentry.
At first this marriage of convenience works well enough, thanks to Moira's ever-cheerful disposition. But as their growing family compounds their financial difficulties, Hector becomes colder, more resentful, and more brutish...until a horrifying act of violence provokes an even more shocking act of retribution by one of his young sons. Vintage Catherine Cookson, this deeply felt novel of a family rent by acrimony and hardship -- and restored by love -- will earn a special place in readers' hearts. It is one of the most moving books this bestselling author has written in a career spanning more than four decades.