Over twenty years after their mother, Catherine Ashby, left the seaside resort of Aycliffe on the English coast, Elizabeth and Francis visit on holiday. They are invited by long-time friends of their mother, the Wilsons, who are saddened to hear of her death.
Upon arrival, they are surprised to learn of their mother's former life in Aycliffe, and that she was well-liked and adored by many. As a governess in the home of a prestigious family, Catherine made a lasting impression among the townspeople. Unbeknownst to them, Catherine left Aycliffe suddenly never to be seen again. Her departure bred speculation and gossip that Elizabeth and Francis find disturbing.
As the siblings are introduced into Aycliffe's society, they soon discover that the sleepy seaside town is plagued by family drama and plots of self-preservation. Greed, lust, and deceit are prevalent. The resort is ailing, and its mayor is intent on preserving the resort at everyone's expense.
By the end of their visit, the siblings discover a shocking secret buried under the sands of time. One finds love and courage to embark on an adventure, while the other accepts change and new challenges.
(Historical fiction, set in 1840 Victorian England, with romantic and family saga elements.)