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It is 1936 and the headmistress at Roehampton Secondary School, pioneer and suffragette Octavia Smith, is steering her pupils towards success as her exemplary girls' school moves from strength to strength. But as Europe rumbles towards war, Octavia's drive to change the world burns as bright as ever and she finds herself caught up in covert plans to rescue Jewish families from the Nazi advance in mainland Europe. Meanwhile, talk of an evacuation of schoolchildren is increasing and Octavia will have to uproot if she wants to continue her students' education. Furthermore, Octavia's prize student Lizzie has quite an interesting father - Octavia's old flame Tommy Meriton is back on the scene, and once again Octavia finds herself torn between love and duty - As a new World War strikes closer and closer to home, bringing challenges and tragedies along the way, Octavia's war is only just beginning.