It's 1939 and little Dot May Dun is playing with her brothers in the quiet lanes of their Derbyshire village. The grown-ups' talk of war means very little to Dot but things are starting to change in the village, for good. When a prisoner of war camp is built close to Dot's village, and a Yankee base is stationed nearby, Dot makes friends with the most unlikely of soldiers. But her friendships are threatened when telegrams start to arrive in the village and the real impact of war bears heavily on this close-knit mining community.
It's 1957, and in a shattered post-war world, life goes on. Dot, a pupil midwife, negotiates the streets on her trusty old bicycle - come rain or shine - to help women in need. Living and working under the supervision of the strict Mrs O'Reilly, she must complete her training with twelve deliveries: there's Mrs Wardle who lives in a seedy slum; the eighth Clarke baby, born in an unusual place; the superstitious Wests, desperate for a boy; baby Murphy who is received with laughter; and brothel-worker Mrs Maloney.
"If it were unabridged it would have been perfect!"