Jenny Corvill is determined to relinquish the reins of the prosperous waterside mill in Galashiels to her new husband, Ronald Armstrong, and enjoy life as a young bride. But soon her plans begin to be disrupted by her frivolous sister-in-law, Lucy, who leaps at an opportunity to set up a second home in London. There she can frequent the most fashionable drawing-rooms - and cast her eye over the handsomest men. Men such as the smooth-talking Harvil Massiter, a playboy kept on a tight leash by a suspicious wife. Lucy, headstrong under the spell of love, plunges the Corvill family into disaster. As a result, Jenny is forced to search for her in the dens of the Victorian underworld. Tessa Barclay once more evokes the atmosphere of a world long dead but which here endures in the lives of her timeless characters.