It's 1928 and the world's most famous novelist, Thomas Hardy, is dying in the upstairs room of Max Gate, the house he built in his beloved Dorset. Downstairs, his high-powered literary friends are becoming locked in a bitter fight with local supporters. Who owns Hardy's remains? Who knew the great man best? What are the secrets of Max Gate? Nellie Titterington, a maid at the house, narrates this earthy and emotionally-charged novel about a world of ambition, duty, belonging and love.