Victoria Flower, motherless and nearing womanhood, is beginning to chafe against the restrictions of her life as the vicar's only daughter in a remote Cornish mining town. Her honourable and well-meaning father, though disillusioned by the impossibility of his spiritual task, thinks he has found a suitable companion for her when he introduces a gentle, musical young curate into the parish. Indeed a friendship blossoms, as Victoria finds a fellow-sufferer in his rather gauche and awkward ways. All this is to change, however, when a accident at the granite-pit brings Victoria into close contact with stone-worker Daniel Olds, whose rugged muscularity she has already secretly admired, and finds the admiration mutual. However, there is no possibility of a match. Convention and society are against them, and Dan is already promised to local girl, Mollie Coombs, who is not likely to give up her beau without a struggle. The Curate, too, shows a determined side, though he proves to have a secret of his own.
Set at a time when Edwardian convention was absolute and when the Penwith mining industry was in crisis and decline, this book offers a lively glimpse at the social and economic realities of love, life and loss in early twentieth-century Cornwall.
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