'Your mother was a naughty girl. She sinned.' Aunt Maud's cruel words shock Rosie Quest, but they also explain the hostility that surrounds her on the run-down Wirral farm: no wonder her aunt resents having had to take in an illegitimate child. It's quite a relief to escape to her job at Shearing's garment factory, even though Beatrice Shearing is a tough employer. But when Rosie catches the eye of Ben Shearing, Beatrice is having none of it: her son is too good for a factory girl. When she fails to halt the romance by conventional methods, Beatrice resolves to try more drastic tactics, even if that means uncovering secrets best left buried...