When 8-year-old Mirren Gilchrist is orphaned after a tragic accident, she is sent to live with her estranged relatives deep in the Yorkshire Dales. She struggles to fit in, her town ways a mystery to the country children.
One day, fleeing school – and the cane – she takes refuge from a fierce snowstorm in the ruins of a stone cottage. Legend has it that World's End is haunted but Mirren has finally found somewhere she can call home and her love affair with this magical place begins.
It's the place she falls in love with Jack, the place she secretly hopes will one day become their very own. But the Second World War arrives and everything is thrown into turmoil. Jack returns from leave a changed man – violent and uncaring, a cruel streak shining though.
Mirren struggles to cope with the transformed Jack and new motherhood. Then tragedy strikes and history looks set to repeat itself. Is heartache here to stay or can Mirren find solace and inspiration in the only place she has ever felt truly safe?
Leah Fleming was born in Lancashire of Scottish parents, and is married with four grown-up children and four grandchildren. She writes full-time from a haunted farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales and from the slopes of an olive grove in Crete.