At the end of the 19th century, Tess, the daughter of a farmer, goes to find work at the manor of Trantrige, where she falls in love with her cousin, Alec. She becomes pregnant, but the child doesn’t survive. She has to run away and finds a job in a dairy farm. She falls in love with the son of a local minister and marries him. She tells him the truth about her past and he refuses to forgive her. He abandons her for Brazil and Tess is left to her fate.