The plight of a nineteenth century schoolteacher, trapped by her duty to her job, is mirrored by a modern day woman's fight to escape the shackles of a broken marriage. Bess hardemon, a tough and canny young teacher living in the mid-nineteenth century, is determined to make a difference at her new school, priors heath. Under the austere gaze of the reverend carnegie and his deputy, miss simms, the young girls remain underfed and unstimulated -- until the arrival of the bright, motivated young bess.at the cost of her own chance of finding love, bess remains trapped by her duty, a confinement echoed a century later by sarah, a teacher at the modern-day priors heath who must make her own choice between her duty to her pupils and her efforts to save a broken marriage.
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