Set in Yorkshire against a backdrop of social struggle, hypocrisy, ignorance, camaraderie and humour. 'A Sense of Duty' follows the lives of the Kilmaster family. The voluptuous Katherine Kilmaster is not the sort men wish to marry - or so her sisters declare in their efforts to curb her fun-loving nature. She is dismissed from one job after another, after being tempted into dangerous situations with young men above her own station.
Kit determines to embark on a life of hedonism, her brazen attitude shocking her kin who try to install in her a sense of duty. Kit refuses to heed their warnings. Fighting restraint, both of her Methodist upbringing and the insular mining community, she uses the experience she has gained in service to the aristocracy to launch herself upon London Society - until an unexpected consequence of her profligate lifestyle shops her in her tracks.
Thrust back into claustrophobic village life, Kit falls prey to malicious gossip, and even greater tragedy. A chance encounter promises to deliver the husband and children she has always craved. Will Kit be allowed everlasting happiness, or will her shameful secret be revealed?