Ellie Walsh lives in a battlefield. Her out-of-work father, selfish sisters and violent, bitter mother, Ruby , are constantly fighting - and Ellie is always caught in the crossfire. So when a charming customer, Leonard Kent, comes into the local tearoom where she is a waitress, she is flattered by his attention. And when he reveals he plays the piano in a West End club by night, she is thrilled by the glamorous life she imagines him leading - so far removed from the grind of poverty-stricken Rotherhithe. But though she is increasingly attracted to Leonard, Ellie has secretly never forgotten Terry Andrews, who lives on the other side of Elmleigh Square to her. But Terry has made it clear he is not interested in her and, in any case, Ruby Walsh hates Terry's mother and would never permit a relationship between Terry and her daughter. Events, though, soon take an extraordinary turn, destroying the flimsy foundations on which Ellie has built her world. It is up to her, and her alone, to decide on the direction of her future ...