In strictly chapel Pontypridd in 1938, tongues are quick to wag when Alma Moore, abandoned by her lover, is rushed to hospital with stomach pains. The doctor may call it appendicitis, but the scandal-mongers think they know better. And then Bethan John, who's too good for the rest of them since she married a doctor, comes back to her mining family's house with her new baby - but without her husband, or any word of explanation. Ostracised by most - even their own mothers - Alma and Bethan face a lonely struggle to survive. Then taciturn Russian Charlie, an outsider haunted by his own past, reaches out the hand of friendship to them both, and in so doing begins to thaw his own heart...