Left on the doorstep of a foundling home whilst still a baby; Eloise Curtis grows up thinking herself an orphan. A twist of fate and the death of her best friend give her a new name and a new life, but she is caught between her employer's spiteful bad temper and her desire to please Julia, her young mistress. At fourteen years-old she is taken to Lincoln to attend Julia, who at sixteen is to enter society. Again, she suffers at the hands of her employer but fate has even worse in store for her when she is accused of stealing and imprisoned in Lincoln gaol. After enquiries fail to confirm her story she is sentenced to fourteen years transportation. She has no way of knowing the dangers she will have to face, or the shocking discovery that she has a brother who is searching for her.