Rachel Smedling is not like the other women in her isolated Pennine village: she is taller, stronger and weaves cloth like a man. Without her, the household would fall apart, for her mother is ailing and her vicious drunkard father seems to hate her so much, he would happily offer money to any man who would wed her.
When her mother dies, Rachel is at the mercy of her increasingly violent father. Her only escape is by marrying a kindly man with whom she finds happiness, if not passion, and her life begins to seem complete. Rachel's growing prosperity infuriates her father and his cronies, however, and they will stop at nothing to see her destroyed.
Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia in 1973, but loves to return to England regularly to visit her family and soak up the history. She has two grown-up daughters and now lives with her husband in a spacious waterfront home. Often as she writes, dolphins frolic outside the window of her study. Inside, the house is crammed with thousands of books. Anna Jacobs has also written a series of novels set in Lancashire about the Gibson family, which are available as Coronet paperbacks.