Rose Pendlebury has little in common with her Islington neighbours. Her street has been invaded by young confident, upwardly-mobile people without, it seems, a care in the world. She keeps herself to herself, and only her husband Stan is aware of her bubbling anger, her terrible prickleness and her ability to take offence. But when Alica and Tony move in next door with their enchanting toddler, Amy, Mrs Pendlebury begins to come out of her shell, as gradually her neighbours undermine her traditional, cautious privacy. Mrs Pendlebury may not be ripe for transformation, or even happiness, but she is not too old to change.