Jo Melling has arrived in Birch End from Australia, still grieving her father's recent death. She's not intending to stay long, but after tracking down her distant family, Jo becomes more involved in village life than she could ever have imagined - and suddenly in danger too.
Jo also finds herself drawn to Nick, a handsome newcomer to the village. Nick had planned to settle in Birch End and start a business, but as he grows closer to Jo, he realises he may have to choose between his dreams and a chance at love.
Meanwhile, the new local council are faced with some tough decisions of their own. It's time to take a stand against the poor conditions in Backshaw Moss, the nearby slum, but some councillors want things to stay as they are - and will go to any lengths to make sure they get their way . . .
Will the decent people of the valley win a brighter future for themselves? And can Jo find a way to stay with Nick in a place she's grown to love?