Alison Grant is just five when her father is sent to prison for murder. Taunted at school for being a jailbird's daughter, then abandoned by her mother, she goes to live with her grandmother. She tells her only new friend that her mother is dead and her father is a ship's captain. It is the beginning of a new life of lies and deception, which continues after her grandmother's death. Alison begins to dream of owning a chain of cafés and becoming a lady. But her family's shaming secret will come back to haunt her once more.