It is 1916 and the Hunters, their friends and their servants are settling down to the business of war. As conscription reaches into every household, Britain turns out men and shells in industrial numbers from army camps and munitions factories up and down the land. Bobby, the second Hunter son, gains his wings and joins his brother in France. Ethel, the under housemaid, embarks on a quest and Laura Hunter sets out on her biggest adventure yet. Diana, the eldest Hunter daughter, finds a second chance at happiness in the last place she'd think of looking, and matriarch Beattie's past comes back to haunt her. But as the battle of the Somme grinds into action, the shadow of death falls over every part of the country, and the Hunter household cannot remain untouched.