Following her mother's untimely death, market trader's daughter Lizzie Allen is facing desperate times. Her father Tom, crippled in the fighting during WWI, has been left a broken and bitter man; her elder brother Vinnie is in serious trouble with the local hard man; her two younger sisters are in danger of being taken into care, and her sweetheart Danny is heading for Australia to seek his fortune. Determined to keep her family together, yet unable to escape the poverty and degradation of the slums, the heartbroken Lizzie is tricked into marriage by Danny's unscrupulous brother, Frank. Will she ever find the strength to protect her family from the underworld thugs who monopolise the Isle of Dogs? Can she escape her increasingly unhappy and violent marriage? And will she ever be reunited with her one true love, former barrow boy, Danny Flowers?