In the autumn of 1942, fifteen year old Ruby is collected from her aunt's guesthouse by her grandfather. She is taken to live with him in a village in industrial Lancashire, where a few days after her arrival, a number of US Quartermaster Truck Companies of black troops take over a nearby camp. Bo, Con and Wes are ready to help with the war effort, but instead are alienated and mistrusted by their own white sergeants, forcing them to pass the days in the village. Before long tension rises between the newly arrived troops and the locals, many of whom still have embedded racial prejudices. As the town becomes divided, Ruby and her friends must struggle with adolescence, illicit love, dangerous friendships and the difficultly of doing what is right in a chaotic and unfair world.