Based in the shipyards of Leith, Silver Linings follows the ups and downs of the Anderson family through the darkest days of the Second World War as they struggle to survive. When war breaks out in 1939 the Anderson family ready themselves for the worst, but nothing can prepare them for the death of matriarch Sandra while giving birth to surprise baby Rosebud.
Promising her mother that she will take care of her newborn sister, pampered fifteen-year-old Kitty must abandon her dreams of a career to become the family drudge. And Sandra's heartbroken husband, Johnny, swears never to remarry and instead finds solace in his work, becoming a respected trade union activist in the shipyards. Yet with the help of Johnny's domineering mother Jenny and spinster sister Kate, the family find the strength to carry on. And when life throws new opportunities at them, Kitty and Johnny are sorely tempted to pursue happiness where they can find it.
But can they live with the guilt of breaking the solemn promises they made to Sandra on her deathbed?