Before the Second World War breaks, Cheffyns, the idyllic country house where the Garlands have lived for centuries, has already been touched by events in Europe. To the horror of her family, Katherine, the eldest daughter, appears to have run off to join the Nazis. On the outbreak of war, Caro, her younger sister, her friend Robyn, and the maids, Trixie and Betty, leave Cheffyns to help the war effort, and the old house is left to be managed by men too old to fight.
In London, Caro and Robyn are joined by Edwina, a beautiful Irish girl with such striking looks that she catches the eye of the Prime Minister. While Caro and Robyn join the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, Edwina is singled out for undercover work of a most glamorous nature. All the girls meet and fall in love with a succession of young men, most of whom, it seems to them, are fated to die young - even Walter, the witty, handsome war artist, is soon to be touched by the hand of death.