Noleen Delaney is one of an army of night cleaners at St Angelus hospital in Liverpool. Since her husband was injured in the war, she has supported her five children and the family; she just about gets by.
When Finn, her youngest, passes the 11-plus exam, Noleen feels faint. Allowing Finn to attend the grammar will stretch her purse too far. As the nurses of Lovely Lane near their final exams, Noleen will find herself tested and her heart broken. Just how far can a mother's love stretch?