Polly Pride, of catholic Irish stock, lives with her protestant husband Matthew and their two children in the poor part of Manchester. Despite money worries they are happy, but when Matthew loses his job, Polly decides she must do her bit to keep the family from starvation and she sells all the family's goods and chattels, using the money to turn their home into a small shop from which she sells second-hand rugs and carpets. This does not please her husband, or his family, who has never accepted their son marrying a catholic, and so Polly not only has to struggle to make a living, but also has to fight to keep her family from falling apart.
Freda Lightfoot was born and brought up in the mill towns of Lancashire. She has been a teacher, bookseller and smallholder but began her writing career by publishing over forty short stories and articles and five historical romances under a different name. Having lived for many years in the Lake District and also in Cornwall, she now tries to divide her time between the two.