In a run-down cottage, deep in woodland on the outskirts of Leicestershire, sixteen-year-old Tilda Penny lives in fear of her drunken father's violent attacks. Born with a withered arm, Tilda is branded an outcast in the community and her only comfort is drawn from her friendship with seven-year-old Eustace Sprocket. Suffering from his aunt's intolerable abuse, he too is no stranger to rejection. Entering her cottage one evening, Tilda stumbles apon a young man about to steal her life savings. But instead of throwing Ben McCraven out into the cold night air, she takes pity on him and offers him shelter for the night. Tilda's one simple act of kindness is to have far-reaching consequences...