On the Battersea Reach of the Thames, a mixed bag of the slightly disreputable, the temporarily lost, and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the great river's tides. Belonging to neither land nor sea, they belong to one another in a motley yet kindly society. There is Maurice, by occupation a male prostitite, by happenstance a receiver of stolen goods, by nature a friend to all. And Richard, a buttoned-up ex-navy man, whose boat, much like its owner, dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, a faithful, loving but abandoned wife, and diffident mother of two young girls running wild in the waterfront streets.