The villagers of Turnham Malpas are in for a shock. With Sir Ralph now dead, his fortune and title go to a newcomer. It swiftly becomes clear that Johnny Templeton could not be more different to his well-loved predecessor. Johnny soon finds himself in conflict with long-standing members of Turnham Malpas - particularly Craddock Fitch who is determined to obstruct Johnny's plan to buy back the Templeton estate. Meanwhile, there are two other villagers in crises, but theirs is a much more private issue. Marcus and Alice March have longed for a child for years. But when Alice finally becomes pregnant, there are those in the village who harbour doubts about the child's progeny, knowing how close Alice has grown to Johnny. As gossip begins to circulate the village, Alice must make the most difficult of decisions - whether to follow her heart or her morals.