A story of love, revenge, money and power from the pen of Babara Taylor Bradford. Successful businesswoman Emma Harte (Deborah Kerr), worried that her sons are plotting against her, looks back on her life. She remembers how, as a young woman (Jenny Seagrove), she was abandoned when pregnant by her wealthy lover, had to work to build a future for herself and her child and marry the weak Joe Lowther for her child's sake. During the First World War Emma finds love with wealthy industrialist Paul McGill, marries for a second time and her empire begins to grow. The story continues up to the present day, with Emma's children threatening to destroy her business and each other.