Rose Alley is one of the city's worst slums - a place where hunger, filth and violence are a way of life. It's no place for proud Queenie Logan and her daughter Gillyflower. And it seems Queenie's dreams of escape will come true. Transformed by Miss Hunter's School for Girls, Gilly opens a successful dressmaking shop. And though she always thought she would marry the boy next door, soon she is courted by one of the richest young men in the city. But they have made a terrible enemy, who lurks in the Liverpool slums and seeks his chance to destroy them. And in the respectable new world they have joined someone else will prove even more dangerous to Gilly and those she loves.