Eager to do their bit for the war effort three young women join the Women's Timber Corps. Buxom and bouncy, red-headed Lou is newly married and sees her training in Cornwall as a way of staying near her sailor husband. Gracie is making a break from her quarrelling, interfering parents and Rosie wants to escape from her bully of a brother. Life as new recruits is a bit of a shock, but they are keen to stay together in their next posting: the Lake District. Emotions are always more intense in wartime, and Rosie is swept off her feet by an American GI. Her dream of returning to the States as his wife is cruelly shattered when he tells her he's married already. Gracie falls in love with a German POW, earning the hatred of villagers and colleagues alike. And Lou has to deal with the news that her husband is missing in action. The novel ends on a note of high drama, while Gracie is helping her lover to escape but an Epilogue makes it clear that there's a happy ending.