When her father uproots their family over a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is forced to leave her comfortable parsonage for the harsh north of England. The industrial ugliness of her new home is only worsened by the bestial behavior of those who work the mills. Both man and shifter are like nothing Margaret has ever met before.
But when Margaret comes to see the bleak poverty facing these workers, she takes up their cause against John Thornton, a self-made mill-owner who seems the personification of all she hates about the north. He is a stubborn pure human, with no care for the strugglings of his workers. But while Margaret comes to learn what it truly means to belong to a pack, she also must face the possibility that, like the mill workers, Thornton is not exactly as he seems.