Rose Sugden is a Yorkshire girl through and through. In pre-First World War Bradford, Rose’s maternal grandfather, Caleb Rimmington, is one of Bradford’s wealthiest mill owners and her father is a highly talented tapestry designer. Laurence Sugden’s artistic talent is not put to use at Rimmington’s Mill, however, for Caleb, disappointed in his daughter’s marriage to a mere working-man, has disowned her and refuses all contact with her three children.
To Rose, and her brother Noel and sister Nina, their grandfather Caleb is a myth they long to meet; even more so, they long to meet their Rimmington cousins, cousins they can only read about in the gossip columns of their local paper.
When Caleb dies, this dream becomes reality. Though the gulf between the Sugdens and the Rimmingtons is vast, with the Sugdens living in a modest terraced house in the shade of Rimmington’s Mill, and William, Harry and Lottie, the cousins, living in a grandiose mansion on the outskirts of the city, it is a gulf that mutual curiosity overcomes.
Intense, passionate relationships follow. There are broken marriages and broken lives, and throughout it all Rose is the warp and weft that keeps the family intact. Sustained by her burning ambition to follow in her father’s footsteps and to be a Head Tapestry Designer, and to be so at Rimmington’s Mill, and by her unquenchable and seemingly hopeless love for Harry, will Rose at last find the happiness that has so long eluded her?