1950s Lancashire. Alice's parents are killed in a freak accident, the naive girl falling into the guardianship of her only relative, Richard Barker. Scheming and tyrannical, the pious man makes sure the innocent girl's stay with him is not a happy one.
Alice's precocious school friend, Kate Howell, offers the exquisite girl a way of escape - but life is never so simple. The pair begin the journey of life - a slog that leads vulnerable Alice into the arms of an older man.
The trials of Alice is a tale of harsh discipline, lust and infatuation - of sexual confusion and carnal exploration.