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Reviewed on 3/16/2016...
A fiery young headmistress Sarah Burton brings her modern ideas to the conservative girls' school in depression-era Yorkshire, sparking conflict — and attraction — with Robert Carne, a stubborn, brooding landowner mired in a troubled past. Sarah inspires her girls to think for themselves, trying to craft a bright future for Lydia Holly, a gifted scholarship student from the squalid slums. Outside of school, she finds an ally in Joe Astell, an advocate of progress and of Sarah. But nothing is so simple in the South Riding, where corruption can taint the greater good and passion can subvert political ideals.
Against a sweeping northern landscape of windy, surf-battered cliffs, South Riding presents a community on the cusp of modernization. Some inhabitants struggle to overcome the past, some cling to it, and some, filled with hope, aspire to usher the future in.
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