Poplar, London, 1920. Fourteen-year-old Victoria Keats is horrified when her father demands that she go to work for wealthy Mr Preston – everyone knows why he takes young girls into his house. But her violent father, who’s never let her forget she’s not the son he wanted, won’t listen to her concerns – and when she stands up for herself, he throws her out of their dingy little house in the slums.
Intelligent, book-loving Vicki vows to make her father regret this day; but she is all alone in the world. Despite her courage and quick wits, it seems likely she will starve – until two men, both complete strangers, provide her with no-strings-attached help.