At the dawn of the Victorian epoch, two young sisters, industrious Carrie and vivacious May, lose home and livelihood when their Leeds pub is sold to make way for the coming of the railway. They head for Harrogate to find work in the burgeoning hotel trade, only to fall prey to fraudsters before being driven apart by misunderstanding, pride, and a mutual sense of betrayal.
Estranged from one another, Carrie and May must each pursue their own destinies as they seek to overcome misfortune and look for lasting happiness. Their separate paths will cross those of three men: Alex Sinclair, a warm-spirited Scottish railway pioneer; Charles Hammond, the dissolute heir to a manipulative mother, and Byron Taylor, entrepreneur and consummate womaniser.
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