Beth Hubble has grown up in extreme poverty in Dock Cottages – a filthy slum teeming with scruffy, malnourished children. And, although she enjoys nursing training, problems at home are never far from her mind. Doctors have told her mother that, after fourteen pregnancies, she is too frail to survive another although they have refused to help her avoid it. Beth is determined to help, but in 1920 birth control is a taboo subject, and her quest for knowledge is thwarted at every turn.
Meanwhile Beth has fallen for Andrew Langford, a hospital lab technician. But will he want to marry a girl from Dock Cottages? And will Beth ever find the love and happiness that she deserves?