The people of Stourbridge have long since grown accustomed to the ways of Christina Compson, the beautiful woman who has been so successful in her running of Henzels glassworks. But the mistakes of her past life come to overshadow the lives of Christinas and Joes children. The two eldest, Emily and Paul, raised as brother and sister, were drawn together by the stigma that illegitimacy could bring and, as adults, only Pauls love of glass could have parted them. Christina now recognizes in Pauls talent as an engraver the opportunity to fake Henzels to the forefront of the industry. But first he must visit his grandfathers glasshouse in France, to learn the least techniques despite fierce opposition from Emily; She knew that if he went she would lose her dearest friend, the man she had grown to love as more than a brother.