It’s 1912, Manchester. Twelve-year-old Lena Matthews comes from the rough end of town, living in a two-up and two-down with her drunken father, sickly mother and houseful of siblings. When one little sister doesn’t make it, the tragedy sparks of a series of events that transport Lena from the squalor of home to the grandeur of the Dark House, working in service for the Birtles Family.
All is not as it should be in that household either, as Lena discovers when the Birtles’ son, haughty Henry, inveigles her into covering for him as he tries to discover the whereabouts of his uncle’s fortune.
Lena finds herself drawn into the adventure, but more important is the personal journey she embarks upon, discovering that men rule the roost no matter what the household, and women need to change themselves in order to change the future. With pride, vigour, and not a little heartache, Lena sets out to make her way in life, to discover her own fortune in unexpected places.