Thornton, 1603. Mary de Courtsey, a four year old 'little maid' is given a handmade oak chest in which to keep her secrets and treasures. Throughout her coming of age, marriage, separation and darkest hours she maintains its secrecy and vows it will be always passed on via the female line to future generations. Now in 2015, Suzanne has just turned 18 and inherits the chest from her grandmother. As Suzanne reads a final letter from her grandmother bequeathing the mysterious chest to her, an amazing family history is revealed. From the tempestuous and challenging tale of survival and murder in the 1600s, illicit children at the turn of the 19th century through to a more recent past via France and Istanbul, her female ancestors reveal themselves and their engaging stories to her through their diaries and their unbroken protection of the family chest.