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When Chris Adam recieves a proposal from wealthy young Guy Lindsay, her family are delighted – this would be a fine match indeed for a daughter of the Manse. Chris is tempted, for she is attracted to Guy, but her vocation is to be a composer, and instead of marriage she chooses to study music in Edinburgh.
There Chris meets Angus Bretton, who has been sent down from medical school in disgrace. Though he seems strangely restrained after the passionate Guy, Chris falls deeply in love with him, and it is Angus who comes to her rescue when events conspire against her and all her dreams are in ruins. But Angus is not all that Chris imagines him to be and their happiness is shortlived. A chance meeting with Guy gives Chris a glimpse of the fulfilling life she might have had – but now Guy is married to one of Chris’s friends.
As war breaks out across Europe in 1914, tragedy, betrayal and scandal lie ahead before Chris can fulfil her musical destiny and stand by the side of the man she loves.