Germany 1939, and Christa Sommer boards the Kindertransport, unsure that she'll ever see her beloved mother and father again.
Once in England she is taken in by elderly Mrs Pelling, who grows to love Christa as the daughter she never had.
But in 1945 Mrs Pelling dies. While her will cannot be found, her money-grabbing niece appears out of the blue to claim her inheritance and turfs Christa out, with only a suitcase to her name. The prejudice against Germans still runs high in England, and Christa is unable to secure a job or a place to stay...
Luck comes her way when a lady she saves from being mugged turns out to be Mayne Esher's friend Daniel's mother. Taking pity on Christa, they take her to Rivenshaw where they plan to start a new life as part of the Esher building firm.
There Christa is welcomed with open arms and she soon develops a love for the place, the people and, Daniel...
But Esherwood is not the trouble-free sanctuary she first thinks.
Determined to do their bit for soldiers returning from the war they have agreed to allow the council to build prefabs on some of Esherwood's garden. But an empire-building town planner seems set on taking all of Mayne's land for the war effort...
Mayne has also discovered a secret door at the back of the old Nissen hut, with a complicated locking mechanism that has local locksmiths dumbfounded.
Just what is hidden behind the door to warrant such high security?