When Janey has to leave her home after her stepfather beats her up so badly that her mother fears for her safety, she finds herself in a children's home deep in the Sussex countryside. Unused to open spaces, fields, and love, she soon settles in, and the friends she makes become her new family. But at 16, Janey has to leave the home and is found a job in Balham as a housemaid. She feels abandoned again and the job is awful. Lonely and miserable, she then contracts influenza and nearly dies.
Her situation doesn't improve until she meets Christy, a blind woman, and is employed as her companion. The women become friends and when Janey meets Christy's son, Charles, she falls in love with him. But Charles is married. Will Janey ever find the happiness she longs for?