Amyas St. Ives is a man desperate for a legitimate identity in 19th century England. He grew up in an orphanage and escaped to the slums of London as soon as he was able to, fearing the infamous workhouses of England. Soon after returning to England a self-made man after having been sent to the Antipodes for lifting a pound note as a child, he departs for Cornwall, hoping that his unique first name will lead him to his family.
In his search for his true identity, he happens upon the Tremellyn family in Cornwall. There, Amyas begins to believe in the success of his quest for respectability and belonging. Although himself a fishmonger and a member of the lower rungs of society, the widowed Hugo Tremellyn has built his fortune with his fishing ventures and is the most respected personage in his little seaside town. Thus, Amyas begins to court Hugo's biological daughter, Grace, although he is immediately attracted to Amber "No Name," who is the Tremellyn's "gift" from the sea--a foundling.
Amber is a warm, competent, loving woman, but like Amyas, suffers from the uncertainty and stigma of not knowing her biological family and true identity. She knows that Amyas is drawn to her, but questions why he courts her adopted sister instead of her. Amyas's attraction to Amber deepens into something more, but his desire to marry Grace and build a new identity outside of his street urchin and "criminal" past sidetracks him. But the two are forced to reconcile their lifelong dreams and present desires after Amyas is expelled from the Tremellyn home for revealing his past and Amber finally discovers her true identity. A rescue in France ensues, followed by the two protagonists' satisfying realization that they can build their future together.
This report prepared by L. Tran