In 1830s England, debt-ridden governess Elisabeth Laurier (Sophie Marceau) consents to bear a child with aristocrat Charles Godwin (Stephen Dillane), whose crippled wife cannot conceive. So long as Elisabeth relinquishes any maternal claims, he will pay off her father's debts. Though the arrangement is meant to be perfunctory, a forbidden romance blooms between them. Years later, she is hired as governess to a young girl on a remote estate -- who turns out to be the daughter she surrendered.
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