In 1960's London, members of the Baxter family are trying to make sense of each other. Principal breadwinner and head of the family is introspective and outwardly serene Tom. Tom is a collector of hire purchase payments, a tallyman. His frustrated wife Girlie seeks flashes of joy in nights out with her friends and a chancy fling with her wastrel brother-in-law, Johnny. Teenage Theo, studious and quiet, longs to be a street ruffian, his younger brother Dick, a surgeon. However, the odd relationship between Tom and his vivacious adolescent daughter Bonnie disturbs the fragile equilibrium, sparks rumours and ultimately leads to tragedy.