San Francisco, 1904. Georgia Briscoe, a young woman from a good family, is unwillingly betrothed to businessman Drew Kemp when she falls for handsome British sailor Ellis Cowper. Drew has the charm to dazzle everyone around him, but once the couple are married, it transpires that Drew's charm is only skin-deep -- he is a greedy gambling addict with a penchant for other women, including Georgia's maid Maura and her jealous sister Prudence. When both Georgia and Maura fall pregnant, the women decide to escape to be with the men they love, providing Prudence with an opportunity to seize Drew for herself.
London, 1948. When Chrissie Kemp travels to the Lake District to visit her grandmother Georgia, she is not prepared for the shocking revelation that is about to throw her family into turmoil. As a last act of vengeance on her death bed, Prudence makes an astonishing claim. As the truth unfurls, the passion, emotion and astounding love that blossomed in San Francisco forty years earlier is revealed, and three generations of one family are tested to their limits.