When Lily Robinson sees the telegraph boy cycling down Perseverance Street, she knows that he's coming to deliver bad news. Clutching the telegram in her trembling hands, at eight months pregnant and mother to three-year-old Michael, Lily learns that she must now face life as a widow. Fortuitously, she is soon visited by acquaintances, Bernard and Edith Oldroyd, who, hearing of her plight, offer to take Michael home with them for the weekend and Lily gratefully accepts.
But to her horror, just days later, the Oldroyds disappear, along with her son. With the help of her redoubtable Auntie Dee and ex-Special Forces soldier, Charlie Cleghorn, Lily takes the investigation into their own hands, scouring the country and, ultimately, war-torn Europe in search of Michael, doing everything in her power to bring him home.