In 1898, Kathleen Wyman lies in labor at Bessington Hall, her husband Edward sure that she has been unfaithful to him. In his blind, jealous rage, he gives away the baby to gypsy Rona Parrish, summoned to help with the delivery. Kathleen, frenzied with grief, is soon locked away in an asylum. Rejected by her father, the little girl begins her new life with only a valuable brooch pinned to her shawl as a clue to her true origins. Starlena grows up in ignorance of her true parentage and vast inheritance, believing her birthplace to be the beautiful Whistledown Valley. And Rona, always afraid, stays watchful over the years for any sign that someone might track Starlena downsomeone who wishes her harm.