December 1940. In the disorderly evacuation of Southampton, England, newly married Ellen Parr finds a small child asleep on the backseat of an empty bus. No one knows who little Pamela is. Ellen professed not to want children but discovers that this is true: Ellen doesn't want children. She wants only Pamela. Three years pass when one day Pamela is taken away, screaming. Ellen is no stranger to sorrow, but when she returns to the quiet village life she's long lived, she finds herself asking: in a world changed by war, is it fair to wish for an unchanged heart?