Joan Ridley (40) wakes up one morning with utter devastation. The night prior, she survives a uterine postpartum hemorrhaging episode but, at a great cost, the loss of her child. This marks the fourth child Joan has lost, second to term in the last forty years, and with this loss it seems Joan will never have children. The dread not only captivated her but also affected her husband, Peter Ridley (40’s). Peter, the region’s notary, a noble and one of Queen Victoria’s confidants, wishes to bring a son in to the world to pass on his legacy and ensure that the Ridley name prevails. Joan’s inability to have a child has put a strain on their marriage and Peter’s patience has run thin. To make certain of his wishes, Peter brings home a young woman named Helen (~18), who has been blinded by love and tricked into becoming a surrogate. Joan doesn’t welcome Helen’s presence and the rift between her and Peter gets even bigger. However, Joan and Helen merge an unlikely bond when they realize the treatment they have endured from Peter runs far too similar, which eventually leads to a deadly plot.
The Wife, The Noble and The Mistress guide sections