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For Naomi life is destined to be a challenge. Born in Wolverhampton to Jamaican parents she does not know her father and her mother, desperate to be loved, seeks the pleasures of men and in the process neglects the welfare of her children. Naomi goes to school in clothes that are too small, goes to school without a coat in freezing weather and goes to school without a breakfast, all the while having to put up with her mother's succession of partners.
When she finally gets to leave home it is with a Jamaican lover who starts out as the love of her life, but whom she rapidly finds is a crack dealer, a wife beater and a womaniser destined for jail. And this is the start of a pattern. Naomi doesn't want to end up like her mother, but the harder she tries the more inevitable that outcome seems to be.