Two years of war have taken a terrible toll on Pearl Street, Liverpool. German bombs have reduced some houses to rubble and most of the inhabitants have lost friends and family. While sisters Eileen and Sheila share the anxious burden of absent husbands, the conflict for others brings excitement and freedom. Kitty Quigley, stuck at home for years with an invalid father, is forced to register for war work and is delighted to become an auxiliary nurse. But as Kitty blossoms, jimmy finds his own life turned completely upside down. And Jessica Fleming, struggling to earn a living, finds herself and friend Rita Mott who is having a wild time while her soldier husband is overseas, increasingly drawn to the glamour and excitement of the Yanks.