Christmas 1860. Polly, already living in grinding poverty, finds herself alone on the streets of Hull when her mother dies in childbirth. Rosalie, brought up in affluence and comfort on the other side of town, loses her own mother in similar circumstances and on the same day.
Polly takes a job as scullery maid in Rosalie's lonely house, and the two girls form an unlikely friendship. Travelling together to the North Yorkshire Moors they discover a new kind of life and find unexpected joy and fulfilment.