The British empire was on the verge of revolution and at the centre of events are the Stuart sisters: Mary the Queen, and Anne the Queen-to-be, continually haunted by the memory of their father, James II, whom they have wronged.
Alex and Christine and Zachary and Lydia have been friends since they first met in their twenties. Thirty years later, Alex and Christine receive a call from a distraught Lydia: Zach is dead. In the wake of this profound loss, the three friends find themselves unmoored.
Two strangers arrive at Hundred Acre Field and the rumour is that a large housing estate is to be built there. While the protests and public enquiry take place, the villagers have other cause for shaking their heads when Miss Jackson falls in love and Joseph Coggs takes flight from Tyler's Row.