1871. An age that points to an exciting future. For the Wainwright family, residents of the remote Teesbank Hall in County Durham, however, it’s the past that continues to cast shadow over their lives.
Harriet Fleet arrives as governess to the resentful Eleanor, a fiercely bright eighteen year old, tortured by demons and feared by relations and staff alike. But it quickly becomes apparent that Harriet is not there to teach Eleanor, but rather to monitor her erratic and occasionally dangerous behaviour – the result of a frustrated intellect strangled by the stifling, malevolent atmosphere at home.
Increasingly worn down by Eleanor’s unpredictable hostility, Harriet soon finds relief in immersing herself in Eleanor’s obsession: the Wainwright’s dark, tragic history – one mired in a murder that took place twenty years ago. And as family secrets are unearthed once more, Harriet becomes convinced these ghosts are determined to reveal her own shameful past.
For Harriet, like Eleanor, is plagued by deception and untruths.
But hers are much more recent, and soon past and present threaten to merge… with devastating consequences for both her and Eleanor.