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A tale of passion and compassion and most of all, one woman’s brave heart. 1865 Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. When Lily Jenkin begins her first day working for the Morgans at their corner shop in the little village of Abercanaid, she has no idea of the calamity that lies ahead of that fateful day. A day of tragedy at the Gethin Coal Pit that brings her into contact with the new handsome, chapel minister, Evan Davies. Although a dark cloud of death passes over the village, Lily and Evan draw close to one another as they help the villagers deal with the tragedy, forming a bond which could lead to love. However, there is a gossiping old crone in the village who will do her best to cause trouble for the pair by hook or by crook. Lily has the opportunity to escape the valley of the shadow of death to make a new home for herself in Great Salt Lake, America. Will she take the chance to go to ‘Zion’, following her Mormon relatives, and more importantly, will Evan, a Welsh Baptist minister, go with her?
Merthyr Tydfil 1867 There’s a new emerging star of the stage, called, ‘Kathleen O’Hara’. Unfortunately for Irish-born, Kathleen, although she’s described as having the ‘Voice of an Angel’, as she successfully performs on the stage at The Temperance Hall, Merthyr Tydfil, it’s not plain sailing. She has the wrath and jealousy of operatic diva, Bella Montovani, to contend with. Up until now, Bella, has had top-billing at the theatre, but she views Kathleen as competition. The young Irish woman is better looking and her voice draws an appreciative audience, whilst Bella’s popularity wanes. Newly-married Kathleen, also has opposition from her own husband to contend with. He’s just landed a job with the Glamorgan Constabulary, whilst she has the chance to head for the London stage, causing conflict between the pair. Will Kathleen pursue her dream and head for London without her husband or stay put on the Merthyr stage?
1896 Rebecca Jenkin is a nurse working at The General Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, where she comes into contact with Daniel Evans, an arrogant young doctor. Daniel is someone she prefers to avoid, though with time, his ice-cold exterior begins to thaw as he shows interest in Rebecca, thus begins a courtship between the pair. At home, things aren’t easy for Rebecca. Her father is the chief inspector at the Merthyr Branch of the Glamorgan Constabulary. Her Mother, Kathleen, a former songbird of the big stage, is now middle-aged and forced to take a back seat in life to care for her family. It’s become evident her parents’ marriage is on rocky ground, as her father’s temper and frequent disappearances, affect a previously happy home. Rebecca is about to have the biggest shock of her life when she discovers something about her father, something so disturbing, it threatens to tear the family apart. Then not long afterwards, there’s yet another shock in store, which will cause double the trouble. Rebecca faces the dilemma of leaving the town she loves to settle in a quiet farming community in West Wales, somewhere she’d never thought she’d see herself living in a million years. And the person responsible for this move is someone she thought she’d never fall in love with. There’s just one problem, he’s a married man… Will she be able to resist him? Or will her strong feelings for an unavailable man, cause her to ride the waves of temptation?
It’s 1916 and Adele Owen from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, is standing at the graveside of a dear family member, whilst another was recently killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. It’s a time when the Suffragettes are campaigning for ‘Votes for Women’, and although they are making their mark, women have a long way to go to compete with the men of Great Britain. It’s a man’s world and women usually have to accept their lot in life, or do they? Adele is a young nurse who has lofty ambitions — she yearns to become a doctor during a time when it’s quite unusual for women to take up the profession. She has the dilemma of telling her parents of this decision, coupled with the fact she will have to go to London to train. Once there, at the Royal Free Hospital, she faces opposition from the young men, who are her contemporaries. They think an ex-nurse from a valley town isn’t good enough to become a doctor in training, doing all they can to put her off. But unknown to them, Adele has already caught the eye of an eminent surgeon who sees something stoic and worthwhile in her. So much so, he offers to mentor her and plans to take her to the Front with him to work at a casualty clearing station in Ypres, Belgium.
Once there, she is thrown in the deep end, amongst the explosions and horrors of war, not to mention her involvement with shell-shocked soldiers, some of whom, signed up underage to take the King’s shilling. Adele leaves an admirer behind in London, a well-respected physician of his day, who writes to her whilst she’s overseas. This will eventually put her in a difficult position where two men vie for her attention. But which one will she choose? And will she survive the Third Battle of Ypres? Otherwise known as the Battle of Passchendaele…