When Lily Elliott's father dies she loses everything - not just a beloved protector and his wonderful ship the Lily-Jane, but also the way of life she has always known.
As her mother sinks into a dream-world and the money which had always seemed sufficient turns out to have been mostly debts, Lily watches, bewildered, as destitution comes ever closer for the Elliott women and their loyal housekeeper.
Then two rescuers appear. One is the most unlikely saviour: Liam O'Connor, a poor seaman who selflessly befriends the unhappy little girl. The other is Joshua Crowther, the wealthy owner of Oakwood Place, a grand country mansion where the desperate women finally find refuge.
Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981 she wrote the first of her novels when she was out of work and living in Australia. There are now more than twenty, and her fourth, The Juniper Bush, won the Boots Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 1988. She now divides her time between her childhood home, St Anne's on Sea, Lancashire, and a home in the Yorkshire Dales.