Ruby Bateman works at the prestigious Warnes Hotel on Worthing seafront. She enjoys her job and the camaraderie with the girls at the hotel, but she also loves a day off . . .
On an outing to the Sussex Downs, Ruby meets handsome photographer Jim Searle and instantly falls for him. The only cloud to overshadow her otherwise perfect trip is the dark mood of her father when she returns home. It's the first of many clouds to loom threateningly over the hardworking Bateman family.
When a tragic accident shakes each family member to the very core, Ruby's older brother Percy turns to the Black Shirts - a group who have recently started making trouble in the town - for support. But when unrest escalates to violence, will he see right from wrong?
Ruby dreams of a life outside of the seaside town with Jim, but it falls to her to hold the Batemans together. However, a long-buried family secret may just undo all her hard work.