When Isabelle Barnes leaves home one morning, never to return, the streets of country Carwell are awash with rumour and innuendo. And her bewildered daughter, Abbie, is left to find her way in the world without her mother's guiding hand.
Four years later, seventeen-year-old Abbie finds herself pregnant to the browbeaten son of the devout and intimidating Henrietta. She's thrown into a life that quickly ceases to be her own, down to the choice of dress for her wedding day. These two women's paths collide in tumultuous and eventually tragic ways beyond the birth of Abbie's daughter, Claire. But will Claire escape the confines of family and her small country town, or is she doomed to repeat her mother's fate?
The House Across the Road raises questions of duty versus desire, conformity versus freedom, and whether we can ever truly break free from the past.