Louise Hart has endured a great deal of pain from her callous husband Paul, but one cold December night in 1959 she can take no more. She and her son Davey escape their Coventry high-rise flat and flee to Tanglewood, the dilapidated ivy-clad mansion where her mother Dolly runs an animal sanctuary. Miserable and frightened, Louise longs to turn her back on the past, and create a happy new life for Davey. But Paul is in trouble with men more dangerous than himself. Unable to pay his debts, he blackmails Louise and those who love her, keeping a shadowy presence in their lives. Even the arrival of Charlie Fox, a stranger who becomes a true friend, cannot guarantee that the future will be safe...