'Put me to work on the pit lane, would you? Is that all you think I'm worth?'
When her mother dies in childbirth, Pearl Edwards is left in the care of her aunt, Annie Grafton. Annie loves Pearl like her own daughter but it isn't easy to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Annie knows the best way to supplement their meagre income is to walk the pit lane at night, looking for men willing to pay for her company.
As Pearl grows older she is unable to remain ignorant of Annie's profession, despite her aunt's attempts to shield her. But when Pearl finds herself unexpectedly without work and their landlord raises the rent, it becomes clear they have few choices left and Annie is forced to ask Pearl the unthinkable.
Rather than submit to life on the pit lane, Pearl runs away. She has nothing and nowhere to go, but Pearl is determined to survive on her own terms...