Liverpool 1936. Miranda and her mother, Arabella, live comfortably in a nice area. But when her mother tells her she can no longer afford their present lifestyle, they have a blazing row, and Miranda goes to bed angry and upset. When she wakes the next morning, however, her mother has disappeared. She raises the alarm but everyone is baffled, and when searches fail to discover Arabella's whereabouts, Miranda is forced to live with her Aunt Vi and cousin Beth, who resent her presence and treat her badly. Miranda is miserable, but when she meets a neighbour, Steve, things begin to look up and Steve promises to help his new friend in her search, and does so until war intervenes.