“The end of the old world”, people said about the long hot summer of 1914. That summer Aunt Tilly comes to stay with her brother the Rector and his four lively daughters in the sleepy Sussex village of Ashden. Aunt Tilly’s visit sparks off a chain of events which threatens to split Ashden apart. Agnes Pilbeam, the Rectory palourmaid, and her sweetheart Jamie find themselves bewilderingly caught up. Then in August the lamps go out all over Europe and war bursts open the straitjacket of rural village life. The war will bring tragedy, change and love as private torments and struggles are subjected to the greater need. The challenge will prove too much for some and the making of others.