Domestic turmoils, romantic twisters, and a bit much about steel-making--in a heavy-footed novel set in the English foundry town of Brinthorpe and a ranch in Alberta, Canada. Anne Hardwick returns to Brinthorpe and her working-class family with small daughter Melanie, having lost her Canadian husband in WW II. But though she loves old Dad and Mum and brain-damaged brother Peter, Anne is determined to be independent--renting a small cottage, studying accounting, taking a job at the Wallenshaw Iron and Steel Works. Then: handsome, roughedged Jeff Blackmore (whose brother is married to Anne's sister) offers passion-without-love--and Anne succumbs for a while before coming to her senses and marrying kind, understated Jocelin Tyndall, son of the steel-works magnate. . . while Jeff weds Jocelin's flighty, heart-of-gold sister Tessa. Does Anne love Jocelin? She truly does--and will remain faithful, producing twin boys and thriving up there on the social heights. (With Jeff ""she could be basic woman . . .she had shared the same roots. . .in her heart she had admired his rampant masculinity."") The years limp on--with slumberous interludes about the impact of nationalization on the steel industry and new processes. The focus now shifts to nubile daughter Melanie, who--off to visit her rich grandmother in Canada--is seduced by local Alberta lad Nicky. Then, after the abortion back home in England, Melanie goes a bit haywire and flings a hip at--of all people--Jeff Blackmore, her uncle by marriage. (Jeff fights temptation but gives in. Horror all around.) And finally, after a reconciliation of a sort between Jeff and Tessa, others seek solutions to their quests for happiness in Alberta: Peter and Melanie find soulmates; and Anne will resolve her Jeff/Jocelin conundrum--even before poor Jeff is done in by a spanner in the Works. Slag.