Leah Turner's father has been killed in an accident at the laundry, and since her mother died years ago it falls to her to become sole provider for her little sister. But women's wages are half those of men and pawning the few belongings left that she has will only keep their viscous rent collector at bay for a few weeks, so even if she does find a job, they'll lose their home.
Out of the blue, local pawnbroker Charlie Wilcox, offers her a deal. His brother Jonah, an invalid since being gassed in the Great War, needs a wife. Charlie thinks Leah would be perfect for the job. The idea of a marriage of convenience doesn't please Leah, but she finds Jonah agreeable enough and moving with him to the pretty hamlet of Ellindale may be the only chance of a better life for her sister.
But other people have plans for the remote Pennine valley, and the two sisters find themselves facing danger in their new life with Jonah. Can the three of them ever look to a bright future?