Duncan Neville, editor-proprietor of the Francombe and Salter Mercury, is struggling to keep the newspaper afloat. For over 150 years, it has served the two resort towns in Southern England. Duncan's personal life is in similar disarray, as he juggles the demands of his elderly mother, disaffected son, harassed ex-wife, and doting secretary. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Weedon, a childhood friend turned bitter rival, unveils a plan to rebuild the dilapidated pier, which might revive the town's fortunes, but threatens its traditional ethos. Lyrical and witty, moving and profound, Widows and Orphans paints a compelling portrait of a good man fighting for his principles in a hostile world.