The second book in Iris Gower's entralling series, The Cordwainers.
Emmeline Powell had been born a country girl, in a small, whitewashed cottage on Honey's Farm. When her father died, Emmeline, bereft and lonely, married Joe Harries, a man much older than herself and one of the fishermen of Oystermouth. The wives of the oyster catchers were sturdy, stoic women, used to helping their men with the catch, and they didn't like the frail outsider who had married into their community. Nina Parks especially didn't like her - Nina was a widow who thought Joe Harries should have been hers. Emmeline - Eline - grew more isolated, more unhappy, trapped into an ill-matched marriage without friends to help her. And then she met Will Davies. Will was to open new worlds to her, worlds of personal achievement, the unfolding of a talent she never knew she possessed, and the realisation that she knew how to love. As tragedy and passionate feuding began to erupt in the oyster village, so Eline clung to her integrity, her ability to work, and her hopes for the future.