Teenager Carl arrives on foster carer Maggie Hartley's doorstep following a terrible row with his father.
Quiet, withdrawn and unhappy, Carl refuses to talk about his home life, and Maggie finds herself at a loss as to how to help this vulnerable, lost boy. It's clear that there's a very heavy burden resting on Carl's young shoulders, but with the boy refusing to confide in anyone, and with concerns about his mental health growing by the day, Maggie begins to feel desperate.
A chance discovery in Carl's room finally reveals the truth behind the boy's anguish, and despite all her years of experience as a foster carer, Carl's secret is unlike anything Maggie has ever had to deal with before.
Can Maggie help this confused and unhappy boy share the truth behind his misery? And can Carl ever find a way to move beyond his pain to live a happy, normal life?
Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that they've been through. She's looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.