It's 1865 and the Great Western Railway has spread across Cornwall, changing the face of the countryside with earthworks and viaducts. Now a new line is under construction. The invading army of navvies has many women but few wives. Considered heathens in a Christian country, they are feared by locals, ill-treated by the railway company, and a source of amusement for bored aristocratic ladies. This is the story of two men and two women of vastly differing backgrounds drawn together by corruption, intrigue and tragedy. Yet in the wake of disaster, hope blossoms, and courage is rewarded with a love undreamed of.