Penny's childhood was spent in the shadows of her mother's business schemes. It fell to Lorna, her mother's acquaintance, to take care of the lonely girl, but the rejection always cut deep. When Penny turns 16 and tragedy strikes, Lorna's cousin Maureen, a feisty ex-stripper from London, strides into her life. Penny determines to make her own way in the world and, with Maureen, throws herself into a new life on the grimy streets of Soho.
When twelve-year-old Ada Cooper's elder sister, Connie, goes mysteriously missing, Ada and her younger brother, Sam, are forced to fend for themselves. Connie's job at the match factory was the only thing keeping the family together and when the rent man, Mr Winterbourne, threatens them with internment at the workhouse for non-payment, Ada and Sam must flee. A coster mongering family come to their aid by providing Ada with a barrow of her own to sell fruit and veg by day and flowers outside the theatres by night. Will Ada and Sam ever reunite with their sister? And will they both be able to survive the savage streets?
In 1670, in the turbulent time following the Great Fire, a series of chilling murders shakes Restoration London. All are linked to the new Dorset Gardens Theatre where feisty young Betsy Brand is playing First Witch in Macbeth. It seems that a shadowy figure call The Salamander, has returned to wreak cruel revenge on his enemies. With the authorities utterly baffled, Betsy takes on a new role as an investigator. She reasons that, perhaps, a clever, courageous actress can unravel the deepening mystery. But soon she faces a more terrible foe than ever stalked upon a stage - and finds her own life is at stake....
Moira and Jack Taylor find their contented life running a thriving rag-and-bone business in London's East End upset by the behavior of their children, the outbreak of World War I, and the Spanish flu epidemic of 1919.
The only boy Marcie has ever loved died before he could make good his promise to wed her. The offer of a job in a smart boutique on the Kings Road in London, arranged via her father’s dodgy connections, seems to offer an ideal escape. But it doesn't take Marcie long to discover that her new Sicilian bosses have other business interests besides fashion.
From the age of eight, Charity Crosse has been living with her grandfather and begging on the streets. When Charity's grandfather passes away, she is helped by a doctor who introduces her to Jethro Dawkins. Jethro takes Charity in to help in his bookshop and keep house. Charity is not well treated, but Jethro instils in her the love of books. And she dares to hope for a better future for herself. But Jethro dies unexpectedly, and Charity is faced with eviction. Must she give up her dream of running the bookshop herself, and worse, be forced to return to the streets?
It is 1962 and pretty 17-year-old Greta finds life at home hard. She has no father and loathes her mother's latest boyfriend. She's happiest at work with her friends in Birmingham's Cadbury factory. When her missing vixen of a sister, Marlene, turns up, Greta decides that she has to get away, and the only escape route is marriage. But she soon finds out that life with Trevor is not as she'd hoped, and freedom and happiness still elude her.
1940. As the bombs rain down on London, a close-knit community struggles to survive. Working at the local post office, Bessie Green does her best to keep her customers' spirits up, but when she receives a telegram addressed to her parents, there's nothing she can do to prevent the heartache that lies ahead. Then Bessie hears that eleven-year-old Daisy Mason has been orphaned, and she's sure that taking Daisy into their home is just what her parents need. At first, Daisy won't settle, then her handsome brother Josh comes back on leave and things look up for all of them. But the war brings further challenges before they can dare to dream of a brighter future.
Survival. It's all down to who you trust. Aiden O'Hara has been head of the family since he was kid, and he's going to keep it that way. Jade Dixon is the one who watches his back. Mother of his son. The one who makes him invincible. But Jade's been in the game a lot longer than Aiden. She knows no one's indestructible. And when you're at the top, that's when you've got to watch the hardest. Especially the ones closest to you.
After losing her mum in a tragic accident when she was young, Chrissy Moss had to find out the hard way how to survive on one of the East End's most notorious estates. When a 15-year-old girl disappears, hours after delivering a message for a local lowlife, the residents take the law into their own hands, forcing old secrets to resurface. With rumours flying, Chrissy begins to suspect what happened to her mother was no accident. But people on the estate are scared to talk, and to find answers Chrissy must unravel an age-old web of deceit that runs right into the heart of London's East End. Could it be that Chrissy, like her mother, put her trust in the wrong person?
When Bonnie runs away from home she leaves her mother Grace and sister Rita heartbroken. Each of their lives are in turmoil but their love for each other will see them through the most troubled of times.
When a mysterious stranger asks Rose to sing at his sister's birthday party she accepts. To Rose's excitement, the party is more than she could ever have hoped for. But is Rosie making a terrible mistake in entangling herself with the Bennleys?
Sent to the workhouse as a child, all Ella Hathaway can remember is a voice whispering, 'Dearie, promise you will never forget what you saw. Your Ma was killed deliberate... and someone oughter pay for it.' When young, wealthy spinster Letitia Fairchild witnesses Ella being ill-treated, she takes her in as a scullery maid. But as Ella grows up, she is determined to find the truth about her mother's tragic death and appeals to Letitia for help, revealing her only personal possession, a black silk purse. Intrigued, Letitia agrees to begin a quest to solve the mystery of Ella's past. But there are astonishing and dramatic consequences.
1752. Agnes Trussel, carrying an unwanted child and stolen coins makes her way to London. She finds work with John Blacklock but as the months pass it becomes difficult for Agnes to conceal her secret. Soon she meets Cornelius Soul and hatches a plan which could save her. But why does Blacklock disapprove of Mr Soul? And what is he keeping from her?
1934. Talented 18-year-old dancer Bonny Burton joins the chorus at Southampton's Palace of Varieties and becomes fast friends with gifted choreographer Rob Andrews. When the pair are spotted by a talent scout, they are contracted to appear in the West End. Soon, Bonny becomes the darling of the theatrical world, but when she falls in love with Mickey O'Halleran, a handsome boxer who is trained by Foxy Gordon, a promoter with a shady past, her career is put in jeopardy.
War pulled them apart, but can it bring them back together? Molly lives with her repugnant father, who has betrayed her many times. From a young age, living on the streets of London's East End, she has seen the harsh realities of life. When she's kidnapped by a gang and forced into their underworld, her future seems bleak. Flo spent her early years in an orphanage and is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could turn out to be everything she never realized she wanted.Will the girls' friendship be enough to weather the hard times ahead?
It's Christmas 1880 in London's East End and a dying Irish girl leaves her baby in the care of the Sisters of Clemency. The nuns raise little Ettie O'Reilly as their own. But the lives of the nuns and orphans are soon crushed by an unexpected turn of events. Ettie is at her lowest ebb when she is betrayed by the boy who has promised his undying love and loyalty. She is faced with the revelation of a heart-wrenching secret.
December 1930. With the Depression biting deeper, it looks like many children in the East End will wake up to nothing on Christmas morning. Widower Robbie Graham earns just enough to put food on the table for his children, Ben and Ruthie. Local cake shop owner Flo Hawkins can't bear the thought of any child having nothing for Christmas. Along with her sister Honour, she hatches a plan to bring some festive cheer to the community.
Lily Larkin is the youngest of six and the least important member of her talented, argumentative, temperamental family. With their father dead and their mother a stranger to them, she must stay at home and keep house whilst her elder siblings go out to work.
Irene Angel lives with her parents in a tiny room. Her crippled mother ekes out a living selling pickles while her father Billy gambles away what little money they manage to earn. When Billy’s errant ways catch up with him, he is imprisoned and Irene must seek help from Inspector Edward Kent – her sworn enemy.