Unhappy in her life and relationship, Francesca is inspired by her sighting of a mermaid swimming away to freedom, to leave her lover and uproot her life. She moves to Lewes to stay with Agnes Potts, her loving, eccentric friend. Francesca begins to paint again with Agnes's encouragement and when her painting of the mermaid is seen by Henry, a local potter, he takes her into his employment. When Agnes suffers an accident, Francesca must become nurse, chef and companion to her friend. Meanwhile, her ex-lover reappears and attempts to con Henry. Preoccupied by her new duties as Agnes's carer, Francesca finds that suddenly everything she has worked for and built in her new life is put at risk.
Born in 1914 in the Tower of London where her father was a yeoman Warder, Peggy Furnivall is devastated when he dies. The family moves to Surrey, but scandal forces them back to London, where Peggy meets Jim Boxall. Peggy's feelings for Jim intensify, but World War II brings chaos to their lives.
World War II brings chaos to the lives of Peggy Furnivall and Jim Boxall: Jim leaves to join the RAF, and Peggy is forced to become head of her family. Peggy knows she must find the strength to survive if she is ever to find true happiness.
Octavia Smith's childhood dream is to change the world and it isn't long before the determined young woman finds her cause in the suffragette movement, but will the irresistibly dashing Tommy Meriton give Octavia's passions another path to follow?
It is 1936 and the headmistress at Roehampton Secondary School, Octavia Smith, is steering her pupils towards success. But as Europe rumbles towards war, Octavia's finds herself caught up in covert plans to rescue Jewish families from the Nazi advance in mainland Europe.