It is May 1926. Glasgow is crippled by the General Strike and the future looks bleak for John Forsyth. Made redundant from his factory job and with no prospect of employment, he and his family only hold together through the determination of his ambitious wife, Madge. Even though this means a dramatic move to the farthest reaches of England - to Devon. As the family begin a new life in the village of Atherton, their fortunes change. John works in the copper mine, but unused to the appalling conditions finds solace in the Church and in his secret supply of scrumpy; long-suffering Madge ultimately attains love and happiness where she least expects it; and Graham, their eldest child, soon discovers how thrilling - and lucrative - a smuggler's life can be.
However, it is Jennie, the Forsyth's wilful daughter, who faces the greatest challenge of them all. Her dreams take her far beyond Devon's green fields and golden sands, and will bring her both devastating loss and passionate love.