Recently widowed, Katherine Chambers is taking her young son to visit her husband's family when disaster strikes. The ship they are sailing on runs into a severe storm off Robin Hood's Bay on the Yorkshire Coast. The Whitby lifeboat goes to their rescue but the freak weather conditions mean that not only is the ship lost but the lifeboat crew as well. However, among the bodies on the beach, a survivor is found. Identified as a Katherine from the engraving on the bracelet she wears on her wrist, she has no knowledge of who she is or where she is from. Dr Bennett, the local doctor in Robin Hood's Bay, is called in, but though he can treat Katherine's cuts and physical ailments, there is little he can do to heal the gaps in her memory.
Determined to save her from being placed in an institution, he asks his spinster sister to take care of her until her family can be traced. But jealous of her brother's interest in Katherine's care, Amelia Bennett is not always kind to her charge. She takes a cruel pleasure in Katherine's predicament, and especially her turbulent reaction whenever there is a storm. But until Katherine can remember her past, her future is far from certain.
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