1952. Orphaned as a young child, Emma Booth was raised by her grandparents in a Lancashire village. Following her grandfather sudden death, Emma assumes she is now without family, until she unexpectedly finds a letter written in 1940 from a certain Mrs Lizzie Booth. The letter reveals that her widowed father had, before his death at Dunkirk, married again, and left Emma with a half-sister, Betty Booth. Determined to find her, Emma is drawn away from the countryside to the austere city life of post-war Liverpool. Discovering her sister house was bombed in the war and is now derelict, she enlists the help of policeman Dougie Marshall to find Betty in the city. Even then, she still has to overcome dogged obstruction from Betty Aunt Elsie in order to establish a relationship with the sister she never knew she had. Despite the different lives the women lead, they discover common ground and get along well. That is until Emma friendship with Betty cousin Dorothy, who with a difficult stepfather and a brother missing in Korea harbours her own familial pain, threatens to reveal secrets in Emma and Betty parents past that may disrupt their newfound relationship and life. When trouble inevitably comes, Emma rises to the challenge, and in doing so finds love and romance, taking her life in a whole new direction; meanwhile, Betty has to overcome devastation before her dream can come true.
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