Sarah Foster's parents had been fighting a constant battle with poverty, disease and crime. When her father, Will, was involved in a terrible accident at work on the whaling ships, their lives became even harder. But Will's good deeds of the past pay off as John Rayner, nephew of the owner of the whaling fleet, decides to rescue the Fosters. John provides them with work and a house on the estate owned by his wealthy family. It is at this new home on the crumbling coastline of Holderness that Sarah is born - and grows into a bright and beautiful girl, and a great source of strength to those around her. As John grows closer to Sarah, he becomes increasingly aware of his love for her. But could these two very different people ever make their love story truly work?