'Campbell Road was home to the most notorious criminals: thieves, prostitutes, fraudsters -- every sort of rogue and vagabond drifted through this slum.'
Alice Keiver is a timid girl, growing-up in putrid surroundings. And that's not just the musty smell of damp that permeates this decaying corner of London. Daughter to an alcoholic mother, and niece to an abusive uncle, she pushes on for a better life for her baby sister, against all odds.
Alice's mother, the feisty red-headed Tilly Keiver is the matriarch of the family - but sometimes she has a funny way of displaying her caring side. Her marriage to her long-suffering husband Jack is a loving, but tested relationship. Jack Keiver works day and night to provide for his family, but all hopes are dashed each time he returns home to find the money-jar raided and Tilly half-cut.
In the room below lives Alice's down-trodden Aunt Fran, who spends most of her days nursing the new injuries her husband has inflicted on her. Fran's husband Jimmy is a cruel man, an adulterer and violent human being. But he's pushed this family too far and this time they're not going to forget it. Revenge as they say, is sweet.