At just three years of age, Estella is taken from her mother, adopted by the wealthy but eccentric Miss Havisham and taught how to break men's hearts. Satis House is dark and oppressive and life with the vengeful Miss Havisham a confusion of contradictory lessons, but the kindness of the household cook and Estella's love of the nearby marshes bring her some joy. Forced to play with Pip, a local boy from a lowly background, Estella captivates his soul and breaks his heart, exactly as Miss Havisham has planned.
Years later, Estella returns from school in France as a young woman and is thrust into London society. There she meets Pip again, who has acquired an unknown benefactor and come into money. Miss Havisham recruits Pip to help find Estella a husband, much to her distress. She seems forever fated to be the plaything of others, locked into the destructive cycles her adoptive mother set in motion.
Estella is beautiful, headstrong, enigmatic - but who is she, really? Will she ever be able to break free from the constraints of society's expectations and her own childhood? Will Estella finally find a way to tell her own story?
This evocative and mesmerising retelling of Great Expectations sheds light on a little understood character in one of Dickens's most beloved novels.