John Thornton falls on hard times, while Margaret starts to prosper despite family problems.
Margaret begins to see John's soft side when he agrees to make some changes at the mill.
Tensions rise as the workers strike over pay; Margaret has a secret.
Richard Hale leaves his church and moves his family to a northern industrial town.
As events spiral out of control, Margaret begins to fall for Thornton, a mill owner.
Margaret befriends local mill workers, awakening her social conscience; Margaret's mother's health worsens.
Margaret Hale's privileged lifestyle is shattered when her father moves the family to Milton.
Bessie dies from a work-related disease, reinforcing Margaret's loathing of the mill-owning classes.
Margaret has a secret to tell her friend Bessy.