Film fanatic Henry Dodge lives in post-war Sternsea with his fractured family. His father died a hero, saving a deserter's life.
At school, Henry avoids both Jeffries, the deserter's son, and the illegitimate Pip, until their teacher Mr Finch sets them a joint project.
Befriended at the cinema by the hospitable Mrs Beaumont, Henry is exposed to a new artistic and liberal world. He learns that people should be judged by their own actions, not those of their parents.
Then he discovers some shocking revelations about his own past and becomes part of a story as gripping as any film.
This thrilling tale follows four friends from different backgrounds as they learn to believe in themselves and their abilities.