A reissue of E.V. Thompson’s classic novel The Tolpuddle Woman.
Wesley Gillam has had little chance of romance, growing up in a strict Methodist household in the Dorset village of Tolpuddle. It’s his headstrong brother Saul who’s ignored his parents’ wishes and has turned his attention to local girl Saranna Vye. Wes first sets eyes on Saranna at Dorchester market, when she warns him of vagrants plotting to steal his takings, and as he walks home at the end of the day he can’t get the image of her waif-like beauty out of his mind. But when Wes learns she’s his brother’s girl, family loyalty stands in the way of romance.
Saranna has learned not to be too trusting but is puzzled by Wes’s distance – particularly after he’s found her work at his employer Widow Cake’s farm. She knows there are other women in Wes’s life – the petulant, pampered Miss Josephine Frampton, who has a penchant for men of the lower orders; and Fanny Warren, the vicar’s daughter, who owes Wes her life…
Wes knows in his heart what he wants, but with tensions mounting in the West Country, as farm labourers suffer from crippling wage cuts and rickburners storm the land in protest, Wes is committed to protecting his fellow countrymen from the law’s injustice, before he has the freedom to pursue his most cherished dream.