Life is hard in Liverpool in the 1930s and Biddy O`Shaughnessy is left destitute when her widowed mother dies. Taken on as a live-in help at the local sweet shop, she is forced to work seven days a week for old Ma Kettle, the fat and lazy owner, until she finally plucks up the courage to run away.
At first she shares the flat of an old schoolmate, though she is shocked to learn that Ellen has a special "friend" who pays the rent. Fate conspires against the girls and Biddy finds herself homeless once more, living rough on the mean streets of Liverpool with no one to turn to. She applies for the post of maid with the Gallagher family, Nellie and Stuart and their daughter Elizabeth, and is taken on. It is here that Biddy first begins to feel that she may at last be able to live a normal happy life-especially when she meets Dai, a young Welshman working the trawlers.
But Nellie Gallagher, despite appearances, has a secret that will affect them all...
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