Seen through the eyes of young Laura (Olivia Hallinan - Sugar Rush, Torchwood) the inhabitants endure many upheavals and struggles as the change inexorably comes; their stories by turns poignant, spirited and uplifting. And Laura herself must face great change. Taking a job in the Post Office in Candleford, run by the mercurial Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha - Cranford, Pride and Prejudice), Laura turns her back on her childhood hamlet to make her way in the world. With her loyalties divided, she must choose her own path to womanhood...
The birth of a new baby brings financial hardship to the Timmins household, obliging eldest daughter Laura (Olivia Hallinan) to leave her home in the quiet hamlet of Lark Rise and embark on a new life in the busy, neighbouring market town of Candleford. Her adventurous cousin, postmistress Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha), takes Laura under her wing, and they soon become firm friends, experiencing together the romances, rivalries and comedies of close-knit rural life.
Could the fortunes of the Timmins family be about to change? A journalist named Daniel arrives to deliver the news that Emma has been left some money. There's a substantial sum to be claimed if Emma can prove her right to the money and there's a rags to riches story in it for Daniel's newspaper. As Robert and Emma contemplate their change in fortunes, Laura, who is fascinated to meet a real writer, shows Daniel around Lark Rise. Elsewhere, the Pratt sisters are keeping secrets from one another; Margaret confides in Dorcas that she and Thomas are trying for a baby, and Minnie - in her attempt to live by Dorcas's advice of always telling the truth - ends up offending almost everyone who comes to the post office.
Newcomer Gabriel Cochrane arrives in Candleford with a vendetta against the evil banker Steerforth, who he feels has tricked him into losing his business. Elsewhere, Dorcas makes an ill-judged intervention, Minnie becomes worried that Alfie might fall out of love with her and Emma is left in a precarious financial position.
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