Born out of wedlock when her mother was only fourteen, Lucy Pocket has spent all her life in the care of her disreputable but charming grandmother, Eva. They dodge from one poor lodging house to another, always in debt and resorting to theft in order to exist. Until her wealthy paternal grandfather buys her from Eva, determined to bring Lucy up to be a lady. When her grandfather dies, his despicable nephew cheats Lucy out of her inheritance, except for a run-down lodging house in Whitechapel, where she is forced to look after his three illegitimate children. Jilted by her would-be fiance, Lucy is determined to make a life for herself and the children, and to search for her long lost grandmother, creating the family she has always longed for.