When Millie Forester's mother abandons her one late June afternoon in 1854, the girl bursts unexpectedly into Aggie Winkowski's life.
Aggie, known locally as 'Raggie Aggie' for her long-established business of trading rags and old clothes, knows the dangers waiting for such a strikingly pretty girl left alone in this rough and vice-ridden quarter, and sees no other option but to take her in.
But what begins as a compassionate solution soon leads to the development of a new, deepening relationship that is to mould Millie's destiny, and give new meaning to the life of Aggie Winkowski . . .