It is 1886. At the start of a long, hot summer in Whitby, a young fisherlass meets a man who has run away from London life. He is older, sophisticated, troubled by strange desires and resentments. She is innocent, ambitious and determined to escape the hard, cold world of the fisherfolk, and the seafaring family whose deaths till haunt her. Thrown together during a violent storm, these two embark on a passionate affair that will change the course of both their lives.