Made-for-TV adaptation of the best-selling Catherine Cookson novel. In 19th century England, teenager Cissie Brodie (Tracy Whitwell) is left on her own after she loses her parents and the family home. She finds a place to stay in a cave in order to take care of her younger brothers and sisters. She falls in love with the equally poor carpenter Matthew Turnbull , who is burdened with caring for his aging parents. Cissie is raped by aristocrat Clive Fischel and ends up having a child that she must fight to keep against the child's biological grandfather.