Victorian London, 1870. The 25-year old Clara Bellamy arrives London in order to view the Piccadilly Palace, a new and revolutionary department store. In the book department, she gets involved in a discussion between an arrogant customer and the young sales clerk James. Given that James obviously is not proficient in literature and is thus an erroneous employee for the book department, this did not reflect well on Piccadilly Palace. Thereby, it is soon evident that the customer is none other that Benedict Stewart, the esteemed literature professor who writes for the London News Courier. Moreover, Benedict Stewart is there for the purpose of authoring a critique about the store. Clara, who loves books more than anything else, helps James on the spot. The director of the store, Thomas Carson, is so impresswed by Clara that he gives her a job - as the head of the book store. She is overjoyed, given that she was, following her ten years als governess, in search of a new challange.
Two months later, she receives a brochure pertaining to a course for creative writing being offered at the University of London. The young woman recalls her childhood dream of becoming an authoress, regardless of her reading and writing deficiencies. Given that the course is open to everyone, she enrolls. The teacher happens to be Benedict Stewart. He was "encouraged" by his deacon to develop himself in the area of interpersonal relationships. Not the easiest of tasks, if one suffers, as he does, from a personality disorder.
Benedict is an absolute perfectionist. Nevertheless, he works together with Clara und assumes the role of her mentor. The young woman torments herself ever step of the way, endeavouring to write her stories. Sometimes, she just wants to give up, but Benedict forces her mercilessly to continue. As she begins falling in love with him, it doesn´t become any easier. It appears that she just can´t reach Benedict.
Can Clara begin a romantic relationship with Benedict Stewart? Or will she be unable to permeate the wall which the young professor built around himself?