In the early years of the Second World War, respectable Maurice and raffish Bernard are two squabbling brothers who with the help of sixteen-year-old Jimmy and Miss Tcherny, a pretty invoice clerk run a wholesale bookselling business near St Paul’s. Over the river, in a large house in south London, the residents are doing their best to get on with their lives as the Luftwaffe brings the war to the capital. Bert and Edie Penrose live in the basement; above them, lonely widow Mrs Bennet remembers the last war, her dead husband and her son in Australia. Meanwhile, Bunty, on the middle floor, married to a jealous man with a short fuse, turns tricks in the West End after he cycles off to work. A stunning blonde, she is totally deaf and dumb. Then there’s her neighbour Betty, a faithful but naive young wife at the top of the house. When Maurice, Bernard, Bunty and Betty get together at the dubious Hostess Club in Soho, a sequence of events follows that no one could predict . . .