Beside the River Needle is a willow, meeting place for generations of Needlewick girls. Suzanna is the elder daughter of the village doctor who, with her friends, plans various outings, memorably to the Tunnel Woods where Suzanna has a momentous encounter. Helen is Suzanna's niece. She lacks companions of her own age, but makes up for it with the imaginative world she creates for herself. In the summer of 1909, Suzanna's daughter, Sophia, is sent from London to stay with her cousin and soon Sophia and Helen are inseparable. Years later, after the War, Sophia is engaged to be married. Over the years she has lost a great deal - but not her ambition for a rich and secure future. Then one morning she learns of a strange legacy. To receive her bequest, she must return to Needlewick. There she seeks out the people and hidden places of her childhood - and following her there are others for whom Needlewick is a place of devastating significance. A WAY THROUGH THE WOODS is a tale of a quest. It is also the story of a family: mothers, sisters, cousins, friends and servants - their passions, and their ability to destroy and heal, waste and love.