The lives and personalities of all the tenants living the Paisley tenement building in 1941 couldn't be more different, but they are all interconnected. Ellen and Donnie Borland renounced their respective Protestant and Catholic religions to marry for love. Older now, Ellen misses her faith while working hard to support her lazy husband. Julia and Frank McCosh are musicians who entertain the other tenants with their rehearsals. Celia Goudie is a young bride whose husband is in the air force. Her bus conductress job gives strength and power to a quiet, shy girl. Denis Megson forgoes university to look after his family upon his father's death. Lena Fulton is terrified of her husband being killed in the war and sinks into a deep depression upon the loss of her baby. All of the tenants are concerned with the threat of the war going on around them, but little do they realise that the most immediate danger comes from within, in the shape of the depressed Lena.