'Papa doesn't like us mixing with the outside world. He says the twentieth century is a monstrous place.'
'S'not a place. It's a time,' interrupted Chris.
'Yes, but Papa has made it into a place. If we stay at home, on the island, we can't be touched by the twentieth century. This is the first time I've stepped off the island.'
When Chis trespasses on their isolated farm in the Essex marshes, Emily Craster takes an action that smashes their world apart. She is almost fifteen and has known no other life except that with her two sisters and parents on the farm - modelled on the Brontës' parsonage a Haworth. She wants to meet this boy who has fallen like an angel from the clouds into their life...