The mysterious Mrs Drewe commissions East End cabinet maker Albert Wilson to make her a bureau with a secret drawer.
But what does she plan to hide in it?
Emily is growing up fast and beginning to develop interests outside her home.
The local institute offers the chance of an escape to another world, until Emily receives some shattering news and another secret is stored inside the bureau.
Emily and her daughter-in-law Dora anxiously await letters from her son Billy, who is fighting in the trenches.
But the news that arrives is so devastating that it has to be hidden forever.
Dora and Billy's daughter Ruby has big ideas for her husband Edward, and she refuses to listen to anyone who tries to stop her.
But the bureau holds a family secret which stops her in her tracks.
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Over 120 years after it was built, the bureau is still keeping its secrets.
But when Emily finds the hidden drawer, all the dark side of the family's history is revealed.