One blissful night of romance at an end-of-term party in the summer of 1951 changed the course of Ruth Brooks' life for ever. The brightest girl in her class, Ruth had planned to attend college but the realisation that she was pregnant forced her to abandon all hopes of a career. Now, five years later, she still lives in Shepherd's Bush with her parents, twin brothers and daughter, Jenny. Conscious of a need to make ends meet, Ruth works as a shop assistant at the local chemist while her mother looks after Jenny. Ruth's best friend Kitty bitterly resents what has happened, but never once does Ruth regret the outcome of that magical night. And the joy that Jenny brings is ample reward for the sacrifices she has made. Ruth meets someone new and tries to put the past behind her, but yesterday's friends have an uncanny way of catching up with her and when her father turns up unexpectedly, Ruth's world is thrown into confusion once again.