..begins with the story of Roddy Greenbank. In the autumn of 1807 he is brought to the small town of Lnagley by his father, but within hours the father meets a violent and mysterious death, and the boy, Roddy, is left with no memory of anything or anyone he has ever known. and so Roddy comes to be adopted and raised by old Kate Makepeace, a family friend, whose special brand of country wisdom sets her apart from the rest of Langley.
When the truth about his father's death is discovered, it leaves Roddy with a terrible legacy of hatred and vengeance, and so he must leave Langley, even if it means passing on the truth of that fearful night to the two people who care for him most-Mary Ellen Lee and Hal Roystan. Buoyed by their love for each other and their belief in the future, Hal and Mary Ellen begin a new life together as they attempt to leave behind them the secrets of Roddy Greenbank. but when Kate, their eldest daughter, grows up to marry a man who is a stranger to Langley, the hatred of many years gone by is rekindled, and once asgain their happiness is threatened.