Although brothers, Edward and Thomas are two very different characters. Thomas is the responsible, churchgoing family man while Edward is the black sheep; selfish, hedonistic and craving excitement. Betraying both his wife, Gladys, and his mistress, Evelyn, who bears his illegitimate child, he settles for a time with Marcella, a London night club singer. But he wanted more. Some dubious second hand car deals eventually lead to a court appearance and three years in Wakefield Prison. His behaviour rocks the world of his hardworking Catholic family, scandalising his sister-in-law, Catherine, who cannot forgive him for the shame the episode brought. Set in Lancashire during the interwar and post war years, `family business' is about an enterprising family aspiring to improve its lot through building a road haulage business.