Large-scale, family-dynasty doings set mainly in a Yorkshire village, 1820-1886--with the no-nonsense emphasis on love, marriage, births, deaths, and other such good stuff. Haines begins with an 1820 prologue-episode in the village of Down-ham, all about young Sarah Donnelly and her loving friendship for local Squire Ingham; and the fates of their descendants will be entwined in the years that follow. In Part I the offspring of Sarah and Sam Rawson fumble through love and marriage: doctor John weds Edinburgh lass Catriona, a union ruined by Catriona's unrequited love for Another and by the death of a first child; Sarah's other boy, gentle Ned, is tricked into an unsuitable first marriage but does at last marry his adored Kate--an Irish orphan rescued from starvation who, alas, nurses a lifelong love for Squire Ingham's grandson Richard (that mating is deflected by Richard's lying Mum). On, then, to John and Catriona's children in Part II: poor son Paul has a dreadful time, suffering through an agonizing homosexual affair but marrying nice Rose (who drowns, leaving daughter Bea) and then matching up with a governess (who nearly ruined papa John's medical career); and daughter Sarah, after rape and whatall, edges toward the image of the New (educated) Woman. Meanwhile, back with the older generation, Kate and Richard finally marry after his wife conveniently dies and her entire family is destroyed by a murderer out to avenge an ancient wrong. So it goes, with much repenting at leisure--but, with no loose threads, reasonably sensible talk, and a steady pace, this is meaty fare for hungry saga fans.