Carenza Dodds, on the cusp of her teenage years, is evacuated from her deprived existence in the East End of London and thrust into the rural environment of Worcestershire due to the outbreak of war in 1939. Her family is tragically killed in the Blitz leaving her an orphan. Her experiences at the hands of the families with whom she is forced to live leave her feeling insecure. She has nobody to turn to until circumstances place her in the path of the indomitable May Faithful who is the former head teacher in the village of Nether Heydon. May's influence on her life leads her on a remarkable journey which takes her far from her roots of poverty and the influence of a dysfunctional family into a more promising future.