Gladys Blackstone, shop assistant in a bakery, is thrilled when Roy Jenkins, the delivery man, asks her out on a date. Handsome, debonair, well-educated, a real gentleman, he's everything an impressionable young girl could hope for in a boyfriend. Gladys is excited about Roy's obvious interest in her, but her parents are worried, given that Roy is so much older. And there's more to Roy than meets the eye. Suffering from the after-effects of World War II, he is plagued by nightmares and headaches and the memory of a young Resistance worker whom he was unable to save. He finds it hard to settle into civilian life, drifting from one low-paying job to the next. When Gladys finds herself pregnant, she and Roy marry, and their wedding is a splendid affair. But their life together is anything but splendid - marred by carelessness, dishonesty, debt, and poverty - and they have five children, whose childhood balances precariously on an unstable foundation. Based on a true story, Downside Road is a gritty and realistic family saga that is both poignant and beautifully told.