1859. Unrest is brewing in the South as Emily, an actress from England, arrives in Georgia to begin life with her new husband Charles. On arriving, Emily realises that Charles has been keeping a terrible secret from her -- he is a slave-owner. On the surface, Emily appears to reconcile herself to his way of life, whereas in reality she finds herself irrevocably caught up in the lives of the slaves - befriending them, and helping them in secret. But as civil war threatens, Emily's world becomes increasingly divided -- and dangerous -- and she realises her secret could cost her everything. Set against the brilliantly realised backdrop of the months leading up to the American Civil War, Sugar Island is a story of freedom and of loyalty in a time of chaos.