In 1652, England is without a monarch. Since Charles I was executed the land has remained untethered to a ruler, with factions squabbling for leadership in both parliament and church. Patience Johnson longs to be part of the changes. When she meets the preacher Sidrach Simmonds she feels it is her destiny to become Simmonds’ wife and help him bring the Lord’s word to the people. Simmonds sees things quite differently. Patience’s brother Will has recently been bestowed the job of lawyer to Oliver Cromwell. Since Will’s wife Henrietta was killed in the throes of the English Civil War he has sunk into a lull of work and wine. Now, he is tasked with aiding England’s most powerful man. Unannounced, Sam Challoner, brother to Will’s late wife, returns to England from the court of exiled Charles II and brings great danger with him.