The story of a young woman's search for freedom and happiness.
Young Maryann Nelson is devastated at the loss of her beloved father. But worse is to come when her mother, Flo, sees an opportunity to better herself and her family in a marriage to the local undertaker, Norman Griffin. Though on the surface a caring family man, Norman is not at all what he seems, as Maryann and her sister Sal soon discover.
Unable to turn to their unsympathetic mother for support, the girls are left alone with their harrowing secret. But for Sal it is too much to bear . . .
The chance of a new life opens up for Maryann when she befriends Joel Bartholomew. Aboard his narrowboat, theEsther Jane, she finds herself falling in love with life on the canal as she is swept away from Birmingham and all her worries. Until Joel's feelings for Maryann begin to change, awakening all the old nightmares that she had thought were long buried, and in panic and confusion she takes flight . . .