When Rachel Booker’s father dies, deep in debt, her mother must harden herself to make ends meet. Mother and daughter work at the open market in Birmingham, selling second-hand clothes or whatever they can find just to put a little food on the table. But the market has a silver lining: it's there that Rachel makes her first childhood friend, Danny. As they grow older, the friendship grows into something more. But at just 16, as World War II breaks out, Rachel falls pregnant. They marry in haste but it isn't long before Danny is called up. Left on the home front with a new baby and little else, Rachel must scrape by with the other residents of Sparkbrook.