This intriguing novel follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl as she tries to live an independent life amid the stifling conventions of Victorian England.

The story takes place between 1860 and 1878 and tells the story of Amelia Wallace and Rose, her personal maid. Rose, who after a dismal childhood in London's Dockland, finds work as a domestic servant in the Wallace household on the day that Amelia is born.

As Amelia grows up she forms a bond with Rose who becomes her companion and confidante. Amelia's father is the owner of a toy factory and is the sole designer of the toys it manufactures.

One of the junior designers at the factory attempts to steal the blueprints of the toys but is discovered and dismissed. In revenge, he vows to destroy the Wallace company.

On the death of her father, Amelia, who has inherited his design skills, has hopes to succeed him but her own brother, who has taken over the factory, refuses to employ her because she is a girl.

In despair, she joins a rival firm where the dismissed employee is the chief designer. Revenge, intrigue and a suspicious death ensue. This is a story of lives ruined by greed and of the love and loyalty of strong and independent women facing the prejudices of their time.