Forced by the post-war boom to leave their shabby Edinburgh tenement for a new bungalow on the outskirts on the city, Madge Gilbride is comforted by the fact that at least she has her family near her. And when her grandsons, Will and Hamish, fall in love with local girls she is delighted.
But life is not sailing- especially for Will. In love with the fiery Kate Rossie, he discovers she wants both a husband and a politcal career. Conventional Will makes a choice he will regret for years- a sensible marriage of convenience to the suitable Sara.
As she watches her grand-children with their own families joys and troubles, Madge can't help but remember her old tenement home and hope that the new generation of Gilbrides never forget their roots...