Following the death of her beloved Aunt Belle, Lorna Kent abandons her life in the city to move to a small country town. Once an ancient valley settlement, Canterlow's surrounding countryside remains, even in 1919, virtually untouched by the passage of time. Immediately welcomed by her new community, Lorna soon finds herself helping at the local school and befriending its well-respected headmaster, Adam Ushart.
Enchanted by its beauty, and enraptured by her first experience of love, Lorna is unprepared for the dark undercurrent of violence and betrayal lying beneath the smooth surface of life in Canterlow. When the mysterious death of a beautiful young girl named Alice captures her imagination, Lorna soon finds herself entangled in a web of dangerous secrets. Alice had also been in love, and by discovering the identity of the young girl's seducer, Lorna finds herself involved in the lives of more than one person with something to hide.