He survived the Boer War and the carnage of the First World War, but it was the bitter conflict on the home front that tore his life apart . . .
After a year of fighting the Boer, Corporal Russ Hazelwood - missing his wife and tired of long, passionless nights on the veldt - seeks solace in the arms of an African woman. Only his friend Jack Daw knows of the relationship and the son who is born of it, and Russ's secret seems to be safe. He returns to his native York and builds a successful career in business, while he and his wife Rachel raise six daughters and a son.
But when the former comrades branch into local politics, rivalry breeds betrayal. Suddenly the past comes back to haunt Russ, threatening to destroy everything he cherishes, shattering the bonds between husband and wife, father and son.
Then, overshadowing all, comes the most dreadful war the world has ever seen. But when it is over, the greatest battle has still to be won - on the home front.