Edgar Carson has returned from the trenches to find that the land fit for heroes didn't exist. The only nice thing that happened to him was Opal, the small, tough, Yorkshire beauty who married him. But by the time the 20s came, Edgar was on the dole, and Opal was pregnant for the second time. Bitterness began to corrode Edgar's spirit. But Opal was a fighter - she wasn't going to let the times, the drudgery, the poverty destroy her or her family. She started with a 'house shop', just sweets and cotton reels sold from the top of her sideboard, and from then on she didn't stop - for Opal's dream was her own department store and a grand life for all of them...