Adele Ford’s clearest childhood memory is of her father telling her about the enigmatic Lydgate Widow, whose abandoned house dominates the village. But the stories end abruptly on the day Adele and her sister are orphaned, and they grow up with only each other to rely on. Adele finds work in an antiques shop but when a wrongful accusation robs her of her reputation, her future looks bleak.
So it’s not hard for Col Vincent, a successful businessman, to persuade Adele to marry him. Adele grows to love him — until she realises that her husband is a violent man. In the 1930s, a woman who leaves her husband faces penury. Somehow Adele survives, and then news comes that will transform her life, bringing back the haunting memory of the Lydgate Widow – and the man who has loved Adele for decades!