1932. After losing both her beloved brother and her fiancé in the Great War, Violet Speedwell appears doomed to a life of spinsterhood. Unwilling to spend her life caring for her grieving, embittered mother, Violet moves to the town of Winchester, home to one of England's grandest cathedrals. There, she is drawn into a society of broderers--women who embroider kneelers for the cathedral. Violet finds support and community in the group, fulfillment in the work they create, and even a growing friendship with the vivacious Gilda. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war looms, Violet fights to put down roots in a place where women aren't expected to grow.