Halley is a smart girl growing up poor in Durban, close to the bustling docks. Trying to make ends meet is her mother, Nora, who pares herself to the bone to provide. Halley's sister is bored of everything, but she's not a regular girl anyway, she's a princess. Halley finds a way to live that's more than making do. She finds that a little love and imagination can take you pretty far, and that they certainly help to hold the curious bits and pieces together. It's an unusual package, but what more, she wonders, could anyone want from life, or from a long, lovely story?