A most put-upon heroine, Virginia Harold, rebels against her parents' divorce her mother's professional competance and her own lack of independence. When her mother marries wealthy Spenser Eldredge, an American, her compulsory attachment to a young near-hoodlum, leads to marriage and a downgrading of living which never licks her. Joe steals Eldredge's wedding gift, makes the gestures of writing a book, goes back to being a bookie, to heading into crime -- and Virginia stands by, with Love, understanding and forgiveness. Life gets slummier, a baby is on the way -- and Eldredga sets them up in a pub; Joe wears prosperity badly and fatherhood less gracefully until his drunkenness is the cause of the sick baby's death. Virginia still not turning back suffers his bitter rage, is wounded by his hatchet attack and widowed by his suicide, and finds her childhood angel again -- this time in herself -- and her real father she had thought lost. Outsoaps the soap operas but its grubby backgrounds have ight, smell and feel.