At Long Reach farm, Eliza Goodall teaches Poppy all the skills she would have passed on to her own daughter: the skills that would enable a young lady to become the mistress of a farm just like Long Reach. And when the time comes for Eliza's son Richard to choose a wife, it seems only natural that he should choose Poppy.
But though she feels nothing but affection for Richard and all her new family, the only man for whom she has ever felt love is an Irish boy, Conn MacConnell. And when he returns unexpectedly, Poppy has to choose between loyalty and love.
For Kate, it was Charlie, a man as strong and warm-hearted as herself. For Jenny, it was Nils, the Norwegian navigator, who shared a brief, bittersweet affair with her before tragically disappearing from her life. And while Kate and Charlie together face the bad times that are coming, Jenny looks set to repeat the tragic pattern of her mother's life.