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In the final months of 1945, victory ceases to be a distant dream and for Rhoda Harding and many others, a feeling of hope is in the air. Rhoda is hoping for a change. Married to Alec for more than twenty-five years, she now finds herself reluctant to settle into premature middle-age. Both her daughters lead busy, fulfilling lives, whilst Rhoda feels her days are filled with dull routine. Alec is a happy man, content with his family life and successful business. As far as he is concerned, his wife's place is in the home. Rhoda is at least able to find some solace in her new and unlikely friendship with young Jenny Matherson. Jenny has few friends, but when tragedy strikes the Mathersons, Rhoda finds she is not Jenny's only ally. Charming newcomer, the enigmatic Silas, is also on hand to offer support to both women. Encouraged by Silas, Rhoda jumps at the chance to take employment in the nearby village of Oakleigh. Alec is stunned and furious that his wife wants to work, but Rhoda is more than determined. After all, the prospect of work is not the only thing that keeps drawing her to Oakleigh every day. Silas is very often there too.

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