John Tucker loses his father, his place at Cambridge, his family home and his comfortable privileged life. He discovers Alison Stacey is the cause. Is he upset? You bet he is!
Alison is descended from an old upper class family and has a strong sense of social superiority. She believes in putting people like John Tucker in their place but she does not know how to cope with the economic disaster which threatens to overwhelm her.
Sarah Grant is bored by her role as wife to a local professional businessman. She is determined to use her recent legacy to bring some interest into her life, even though this will mean a certain amount of manipulation of others.
These characters work out their ambitions and their problems against the backdrop of 1950's South Devon, where the population is just emerging from the period of post-war deprivation into the realisation of the benefits of owning the houses that they live in. But underlying their struggles is a mystery which goes back to before the Great War when a happy young couple set out to find a new life in America on board the Titanic.