The East End of London, 1930. Work is scarce, food is in short supply and there is political unrest on the streets. But in the face of all this hardship, there's always friendship.
Becky, Bernie and Rose - three best friends from very different backgrounds - are working hard to establish themselves in pre-war Spitalfields.
Becky, the daughter of a Jewish tailor, wants to become a nurse, but her father has more traditional plans for her.
Aching to leave the East End and travel the world, Bernie feels trapped by her vast family of poor Irish dock workers.
And then there is Rose. Tiny and thin, she lives with her drunken mother and a revolving selection of surrogate fathers who exploit and brutalise them both.
But at least the girls have each other and, as Europe begins to drift towards another war, their friendships become ever more crucial as each one of them fights for their place in an ever-changing, frightening, new world.