Ginny is devastated by the death of her mother, her two little brothers and her sister - but her father is destroyed by the loss. After a series of drunken mistakes, her father is imprisoned for murder, and Ginny and her little brother Charlie lose the only home they´ve ever known.
Worse is to come. Charlie is only eight years old and has a weak chest. Ginny is determined to keep him with her, but he is taken to the workhouse before she has a chance to save him. Lonely and desperate, Ginny wanders the streets of Nuneaton. She finds honest work at the pie shop - until she is forced to fight off the unwanted advances of the baker and she´s out on the streets.
It´s only then that she remembers her father´s final words - the housekeeper of Lamp Hill Hall will help her. Soon Ginny is employed as a laundry maid, the very lowest rung of the ladder. Her beauty and grace mean that she catches the eye of the house´s mistress, who raises Ginny up to play lady´s maid to the difficult and demanding Miss Diana. All Ginny wants is to find her brother - and it will take all her strength of heart and courage to bring her family together again.