This is what I have settled on.
When Betsy, a strong and determined spinster, of independent means, adopts her motherless nephew, she doesn’t mean to fall head over heels in love with the child. When she plucks William from the bosom of his family, she does it out of self-interest, hoping to thwart unwelcome suitors. Her plans to raise William as a gentleman, allowing his respectability to rub off on herself almost work. But things don’t always go to plan.
One person she hasn’t factored in is Joe, William’s brother. Years later he comes to avenge his loss, with devastating consequences for Betsy. William is horrified by his brother’s betrayal and vows never to forgive him. It takes a travelling preacher to bring the brothers together once more. William sets off on a journey of discovery and fulfillment he never expected.
The next generation fight their own battles against the evils of poverty and greed. Can William prevent his son, John, from losing everyone he loves?
This is a family saga about love, loss and betrayal. It is an intimate portrayal of a family dealing with big ideas of the times.
The backdrop is the decaying, coastal town of Grimsby trying to reinvent itself amid the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, dissenting religion and the fight for voting reform.