When young journalist and heiress-in-waiting Lilly returns to Cornwall for her father’s funeral, her life as she thought she knew it collapses like a house of cards.
At the reading of the will, she discovers that she isn’t his biological daughter. Now, instead of inheriting his fortune, she finds herself with a job as an agony aunt at the magazine formerly owned by her father. She also has her step-mother Nora to contend with, who is doing everything in her power to get rid of Lilly.
Together with her friend Gwyneth, Lilly turns her attention to helping the lovesick readers of ‘Country Lady’ magazine, despite knowing nothing about heartache as for years she has been with her older boyfriend, Eric.
But Lilly’s life changes when she finds an almost 50-year-old unanswered letter. It was written by an American woman, Grace, to the love of her life, David, during her stay in England. Lilly sees this story as her chance not only to give her career a boost but to get on Nora’s nerves, and so she writes to Grace who then travels to Cornwall accompanied by her grandson, Nicholas. Despite much protest from Nicholas, who is concerned about his grandmother’s heart condition, Grace teams up with Lilly and Gwyneth to go in search of David.
After days of fruitless searching, Lilly and Gwyneth give up, but Grace refuses to admit defeat and decides to go in search of the love of her life herself … and succeeds. She is reunited with David on an airfield. But the joy and shock of seeing her former lover now confined to a wheelchair causes Grace to have a heart attack. Their concern for Grace brings Lilly and Nicholas closer together, and Lilly realises that she is starting to doubt herself. Is she really in love with Eric or is she only with him out of convenience?
As Nicholas is about to confess his love to Lilly, he finds himself in the middle of Eric’s marriage proposal. Disappointed, he flies back to the States without realising that Lilly has in fact turned Eric’s offer down.
Lilly and Nicolas only see each other one year later at Grace and David’s wedding. But is he still open to love or has she left it too late?