It's May 1941 and Liverpool is taking a hammering from the German bombers.
For young Mary Bradshaw and her widowed mother life is full of rationing, blackouts and the wail of the air-raid siren.
Despite the gloom, Mary's heart is light as she counts her blessings - she's got her loving mother and Bob, her soldier boyfriend whom she adores and hopes to marry soon.
During the worst air raid Liverpool has ever suffered, fate deals Mary the first of many cruel blows it has in store for her.
She is devastated as her whole world collapses. But Mary doesn't have to face the knocks alone. Her best friend Eileen has a heart and a sense of humour as big as her eighteen stone body - heaven help anyone who hurts her mate!
Harry is the boy from up the road who's loved Mary since they were kids and he'll not desert her now.
Soon Mary finds that when one door closes, another one really does open.