Unable to cope with raising his children alone, Robert Sullivan abandons them to others, until he has a change of heart and decides to go back for them. But on the way there, he is involved in a horrific accident. Jack and Nancy are placed in the brutal regime of the Galloway Children's Home, where Jack's devotion to his sister and fiery temper land him in more trouble. The children find themselves at the mercy of the corrupt Clive Ennington, who splits them up and sells Nancy off to the highest bidder. Meanwhile Mary, Robert's only love, is forced to seek a new life for herself. She decides to marry Paul Marshall, the handsome owner of a seaside guesthouse but her chance of happiness is threatened by his embittered aunt. As Robert recovers in hospital he is determined to find and reunite his family. But when he realises the terrible consequences of his actions, he begins to wonder if he will ever see Mary and the children again.