It's 1848 and preparations are underway for Annie Gibson's wedding to Bilsden's wealthy millwoner, Frederick Hallam. But not everyone is as pleased as they are.
Frederick's daughter, Beatrice, is horrified at the prospect of a new attractive stepmother arriving at the house on Ridge Hill. Even Annie's own family feels threatened. The only person who seems pleased is Tom, Annie's brother.
Soon, however, real troubles begin to pile up for the Gibsons. Tom's happiness is jeopardised by the news that he is father to a child he never knew about. Annie's son, William, is devastated to find out that his real father is not the man who brought him up. And even Annie's joy cannot last. Because someone has uncovered the secrets she has fought so hard to keep hidden...