Anna Buttterfield moves from her Suffolk country home to her uncle's house in London, to be introduced to society. A chance encounter with a local silk weaver, French immigrant Henri, throws her from her privileged upbringing to the darker, dangerous world of London's silk trade.
Henri is working on his 'master piece' to make his name as a master silk weaver; Anna, meanwhile, is struggling against the constraints of her family and longing to become an artist. Henri realizes that Anna's designs could lift his work above the ordinary and give them both an opportunity for freedom....
This is a charming story of illicit romance, set against the world of the burgeoning silk trade in 18th-century Spitalfields - a time of religious persecution, mass migration, racial tension and wage riots and very different ideas of what was considered 'proper' for women.