The first novel in The Nicholson Quartet, this powerful story of loyalty and heartbreak is set in Glasgow, early in the 20th century.Kirsty, an 'orphan brat' escapes from the remote Ayrshire farm where she was a servant and runs away with her sweetheart, Craig Nelson. With little money and still strangers to each other, they travel to Glasgow and set up a life in a 'marriage' that is never made legal. Ambitious and impatient to get on, Craig falls in with a gang of sly and vicious thieves and soon sinks into a life of drink and crime. Meanwhile, Kirsty has met the handsome and charming David Lockhart, a medical missionary soon to return to China. But she is bound by loyalty to Craig, a less than ideal husband who can only bring her hardship and heartbreak . . .