This story begins in 1816. I feel as I am back in school at my history lessons (which I incidentally loved!). I seem to have forgotten bits of the Industrial Revolution and this period of new machinery, and strikes for the first time so it is bringing it all back to me.
Napoleon is defeated at last but England seems to be still limping back to normalcy which is still far on the horizon. The cost of this war has been astronomic. Inflation is rife, bankruptcies galore and the gentry do not seem able to know how to cope with the new order of things. Hundreds of soldiers returning from the war add to the unemployed as they are coming back disabled and not fit for the work for which they were originally trained.
James and Heloise guardians of the Morland riches are faced with one tragedy after another. A scandal of epic proportions involving the family where love and murder are intertwined. This will effect the family badly. Add to this Rosamund and Sophie who both have to come to terms with loss and know that riches and family can never be always counted upon to protect you from the hard knocks of life.
This was a rich story with lots of complicated issues. The background of the Industrial Revolution and Napoleon's defeat form the backbone of the story but the intricacies and extended family of the Morland clan are also part of this fascinating story.