When Josie Shaw's stepfather George dies, and she and her mother Dora are left with nothing but debts. Dora wants Josie to make a good marriage. Josie, however, is strong and independent. She wants a career. Though Dora rejected George's son Leo, who was brought up by his aunt and uncle, Leo offers Josie a job as a secretary in his Birmingham jewellery factory.
Together with her cousin Lizzie, Josie becomes fascinated by the motoring rallies popular in the 1930s, and longs to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally. Then a chain of disasters strike, and she has no job, no home, and little hope of a bright future.
The contrasts of the Birmingham slums, the glamorous world of jewels, fast motor cars and the ultimate test of stamina in the Monte Carlo Rally make this an absorbing read.