After an eventful start to his first ever teaching post in the sleepy village of Risingdale, Tom Dwyer is hoping for a bit of calm. Nursing a broken heart after a romantic disappointment, he just wants to keep his head down and get on with his job. But it is not to be. A beautiful London artist sets tongues wagging when she moves into the village, and her precocious yet frail son is in Tom’s class. On top of that, his colleague’s malicious ex-husband is back, determined to create mischief, and a tragedy on one of the winding country roads sends the village reeling. And all this alongside a class of children who still seem to know more about farming than fractions.