Portsmouth in the 1920s is the setting for Julia Bryan'ts second novel about the Forrest family of Lemon Street in Portsea.
It's almost a year since Lily Forrest waved her green shawl to her sweetheart Michael as his ship steamed off to the far east. She wishes desperately that he was with her now on the day when everything changes: Dad and his new family are leaving Lemon Street and Gran is getting married.
She watches anxiously as her best friend Dora becomes swamped by the demands of her fiancé Harry Vine's shiftless family. While Lily learns of passion via Michael's letters, Dora plays a more dangerous game.
Mary Vine fights for a place in life after the death of her mother. Sacked from her job as a scullery maid, Mary has to shift and scheme for herself. With rage and humour she drags her family along behind her. But even her resilience is tested by fire.
Grandmother Beattie Forrest watches the arrival of new neighbour Dahlia Carruthers and wonders how she and her strange companions will fit into Lemon Street.
And now Lily has discovered a secret that threatens to bring tragedy to all her family . . .