Arthur Craythorne has barely married Queenie May when he is called away to fight in the First World War. When he returns from the trenches, he is a changed man and his wife and two young daughters, Alice and Florrie, strive hard to steer clear of his aggression and make him proud. Although Florrie follows Arthur into the Catholic Church, it is Alice he seems to favour, and Florrie seethes with envy of her sister as she watches them grow closer. But Arthur's attentions towards Alice prove darker than either of them can yet acknowledge, and when Arthur dies, the three women he leaves behind must each find ways to cope with all that remains unspoken between them.
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