Leah Turner's father has been killed in an accident at the laundry, and since her mother died years ago it falls to her to become sole provider for her little sister. But women's wages are half those of men and pawning the few belongings she has left will only keep their vicious rent collector at bay for a few weeks, so even if she finds a job, they'll lose their home. Out of the blue Charlie Willcox, the local pawnbroker, offers her a deal. His brother Jonah, an invalid since being gassed in the Great War, needs a wife. Charlie thinks Leah would be perfect for the job. The idea of a marriage of convenience doesn't please Leah, but she finds Jonah agreeable enough and moving with him to the pretty hamlet of Ellindale may be the only chance of a better life for her sister. But other people have plans for the remote Pennine valley, and the two sisters find themselves facing danger in their new life with Jonah. Can the three of them ever look to a brighter future?
One Kind Man
When Finn Carlisle loses his wife and unborn child, he spends a few years travelling to keep the sad memories at bay. Just as he's ready to settle down again, his great-uncle dies and leaves everything to him. This includes Heythorpe House in Ellindale just down the road from Leah Willcox and her little fizzy drink factory. Finn finds a village of people in dire need of jobs, a house that hasn't been cleaned or lived in for thirty years and Reggie, an eleven-year-old who's run away from the nearby orphanage and its brutal Director Buddle. When Finn sees the marks left by regular beatings, he decides Reggie will never go back there. But Buddle has other plans for the child, and will stop at nothing to get Reggie back in his cruel grasp. Finn's new neighbours help him save Reggie but other surprises throw his new plans into turmoil.
One Special Village
Widower Harry Makepeace lives in Manchester with his sickly daughter Cathie, scrimping and saving to get by. But after she suffers a violent asthma attack, the doctors say she must move to the clean, fresh air of the countryside to have any hope of survival. When Harry chances upon a patch of land for sale in Ellindale, and an advert for a disused railway carriage that can be made into a home, he snaps both up quickly. Harry swiftly becomes part of the community in Ellindale, making friends with the locals, and soon finds himself attracted to Nina, another newcomer to the village. Finally, he's found somewhere he and Cathie can build a new home. But their problems are far from over. Times are hard in Ellindale - Harry is not the only one struggling to find work. Then there's his old boss, who will stop at nothing to punish him for daring to leave. And Harry's already made an enemy in Ellindale - someone who could make his life very difficult indeed . . .
One Perfect Family
Lancashire, 1934. When Tam Crawford is unexpectedly bequeathed some money, he can finally realise his dream of settling down in the beautiful village of Ellindale. Tam knows he can be impulsive - his nickname isn't Crazy Tam for nothing! - but this time he is determined not to be ruled by his big heart and hot head. Yet somehow, within just one day, he has taken on a fiancée and two children to keep them out of the poorhouse - or worse. Despite their unconventional start, as Tam and his new family get to know and love each other, they come to realise that his act of charity is the best thing that could have happened to all of them. But there are still problems and they struggle to find somewhere to live. Tam and his makeshift family are not the only ones facing difficulties. Local benefactor Finn Carlisle's attempts to help the unemployed are being sabotaged by an unscrupulous local councillor, and Tam's cousin-by-marriage Hilda Kerkham has been widowed and is struggling even to feed her son. Will the people of Ellindale be able to help one another in these hard times?