Two wealthy families are neighbors in Elizabethan England; one is staunchly Catholic and the other is devoutly Protestant. The attractive young scions of the families are drawn to each other in friendship and love, but are kept apart by their opposing religions. Life is very difficult for Catholics during those times. They are subject to fines, imprisonment, torture and ignominious death for practicing their faith. On the other hand, for various reasons some Catholics give up their inherited faith, and even betray and persecute their fellow-religionists. As the threads of plot are woven tighter, heroes emerge, sometimes most unexpectedly, as they grapple with theological doubts and conflicts, and undergo extreme suffering and loss. The many characters we meet ring true, whether they are brilliant or superstitious, stalwart or wavering, pious or violent; and it is a great privilege to spend time with such towering historical figures as St. Edmond Campion and Queen Elizabeth herself. Love, history, theology, suspense, and an array of colorful characters are sewn inexorably together in this large and compelling story.