In the turbulent 1640s, English families and friends were divided by war, their loyalties fragmented. Lysbeth was one who came to hate both factions. Her first encounter with the realities of war came when she clashed with Sir James Howard, a Royalist officer, requisitioning sheep to feed the army. Opposing her Royalist family, she turns for reassurance to her childhood friend, Tom Bridges, who is a soldier for Parliament.
As the conflict grows, she experiences Parliamentary atrocities, witnesses the bloody carnage of the battle of Naseby, and is threatened by the unbridled, battle-weary soldiers in its aftermath.
She has to resolve the turmoil of her own emotions, influenced by the two men who, in their different ways, have helped to shape her life.