In the turmoil and confusion of London's East End between the wars, young Nelly Kelly soon learns that life may never match her expectations. Forced to keep house for her charming, yet autocratic, father, Nelly toils in a sweatshop to keep her family clothed and fed. But though life is hard, Nelly still has friendship, dancing and her early dreams to cling to. Dreams which slowly crumble as marriage, the war and a lost baby are followed by the heartache of a lost love. Fortune may crush her proud spirit but when faced with a crisis which will test her courage to the limit, no tragedy can change Nelly Kelly's determination to be her own woman.