Eight ash trees were planted in 1921 as a memorial to those men from the village of Charlton Ambrose who were killed in World War One. Now the Ashgrove is under threat from developers, and the village is torn between the need for more housing and the wish to preserve the memorial. Rachel Elliott, reporter on the "Belcaster Chronicle", is intrigued by the whole story of the Ashgrove and the men it commemorates and she decides to find out more. Talking to descendants of those commemorated, and searching the archives of her own paper, she begins to discover the real men behind the names. But there is a mystery, the Ashgrove includes a mysterious ninth tree, never officially planted - in whose memory is this tree and who planted it?Talking with surviving family members, she begins to learn of the men behind the names. The archives of the "Chronicle" add to the picture, but it is only when Rachel is given a diary and some letters that she at last begins to unravel the true story behind the ninth tree. Written by a young girl, Molly Day, nursing the wounded in a hospital in France, the diary and letters tell of her life in the hospital and her love for Tom Carter, one of her patients.
As the story of Molly and Tom unfolds, Rachel discovers her own links with the past and with the Ashgrove itself and this makes her determined to save the Ashgrove as a memorial to all nine men.
Diney Costeloe, the daughter of a London publisher and encouraged by her father, has written stories and poems all her life. Trained as a primary school teacher, she has worked in the East End of London, in Somerset and in the private sector. To date she has published ten romantic novels under the name of Diney Delancey, several short stories in magazines and on radio, and many articles and poems. She has three children who have now all finished university and left home, and she lives in Somerset with her husband and her dog.