A century or so ago there lived at Heap Hollow Cottage, situated near Fellburn in County Durham, a man and a woman and their six children. By all appearances they were a close and loving family. Yet across the happy facade lay a shadow that had lengthened and darkened with the passing years. For the father and mother were not husband and wife, which meant that, to the narrow and bigoted minds of the Victorian rural community, the offspring of Nathaniel Martell and Maria Dagshaw were base-born gillyvors - in country parlance, bastards. Anna, the elder daughter, was entering womanhood resolved to face the legacy of her birth and the challenges it must continue to bring her. Her journey through life would not be an easy one and only her inborn courage and zest for life would sustain her quest for fulfilment and happiness.