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 prickliness and her ability to take offence.
But when Alice and Tony move in next door with their enchanting toddler Amy, Mrs Pendlebury begins to come out of her shell, as gradually her new 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.