The Delanceys and the Traffords hateeach other. But this is no ordinary neighbours' feud . . .
In l947, Stanley Trafford, the gardener, was cruelly evicted from Melcombe Abbey by his employer Edmund Delancey. Forty years on, the tables have turned. Edmund's near-bankrupt son, Sam, has been ousted from his beloved house by Mark Trafford, now a property millionaire, with his vengeful father in tow. To add insult to injury, Mark's wife Janice is set on modernising the centuries-old Abbey. Furthermore, the Traffords are hoping their 'new' money will entice old county society - if Sam and his wife Fred will allow it.
But the house has secrets. And when young Joe Trafford and Laura Delancey embark on a clandestine romance, these start to tumble out. For what nobody knows is that Stanley and Edmund were once the greatest of friends - as were their wives, Effie and Hester. The war bound them even closer. So what happened to turn the relationship so poisonous? Hester Delancey is now too confused to remember, and Stanley's not telling. Or is he? This tender and compelling story follows the fortunes of both families over the course of one devastating year, when everything is turned upside-down.
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