Glasgow in the 1950s was a deprived and often violent place. Meg Henderson was part of a large family, and when the tenement block in which they lived collapsed they had to move to the notorious Blackhill district where religious sectarianism and gang warfare were part of daily life. Yet despite appalling conditions , there was warmth, laughter and a remarkable spirit, andMeg's mother and her Aunt Peggy, both idealistic and emotional women, shielded her from the effects of her father's heavy drinking.
A hopeless romantic, Peggy searched for a husband until late in life and then endured a harsh, unhappy marriage. When she died horrifically in childbirth her death devastated the family and destroyed Meg's childhood. Only later, after the death of her own mother, was Meg able to discover the shocking facts behind the tragedy.