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1906. Tanya Summerfield finds it hard to tolerate the oppressive atmosphere in her home, generated by her manipulative Aunt Stella. The return of her autocratic father, a Brigadier retiring from India, does not improve it, either. For despite their respectable facade the family is not without its dark secrets...

Although the Summerfield wealth has gone and their home is decaying the Brigadier refuses to allow Tanya to continue teaching in the East End. He also disapproves of her gentleman friend Archie Tilbury, whom Aunt Stella is determined she should marry. When the Brigadier is struck by a mysterious debilitating illness, Tanya - torn between loyalty to her family and the desire to rebel - decides to start her own business venture and to continue seeing Archie. But soon she suspects that her enigmatic suitor is not all he seems. As the undercurrents of obsession and revenge in the Summerfield household enmesh Tanya in their web, she is forced to fight - not only for the man she loves, but for life itself...