For sixteen-year-old Mary Harris, growing up in Rotherhithe in 1934 has its ups and downs. She has a good job in a biscuit factory and a best friend, Liz, who's fun to be with, but she's worried about her younger brother Eddie. Eddie is a difficult child whose bad behaviour affects the whole family. Although Mary's stepfather Ted denies losing his temper with the boy, Mary's seen the bruises on Eddie's small body. She wishes her parents would take Eddie to a specialist as perhaps then they would find out what's wrong with him. Mary escapes her problems for a while when she meets Liz's handsome brother Billy, who's a sailor. And when a fortune-teller predicts romance is in the air, Mary's sure that Billy is the one for her. But the future holds some surprises for Mary, and there's heartbreak to come before she can find true love.