Janet Brown, an ordinary middle aged woman, works as an office cleaner in Manchester.
Her life is quiet and dull, and her husband is an emotional bully. She sees all this as deserved punishment for her part eleven years ago in a tragic accident which killed her only child, Claire. Her unpleasant husband Colin uses her guilt to control her.
Then one despairing day something amazing happens. Janet becomes involved in a train crash, and it appears she’s saved the life of Elizabeth, another little girl. The press gets hold of the story and suddenly Janet is a heroine, in the papers and on television.
At first she’s elated; she sees this as redemption, as a sign that she’s been forgiven for her guilt about Claire’s death.
Until she becomes aware of the truth.