Gold was discovered in Victoria in September, 1851. One year later, Melbourne has become the service and recreation centre for two hundred thousand miners; a frontier boomtown where diggers live for the moment and spent fortunes in a few weeks of riotous living. As most of the former police force defected to the diggings, law-abiding citizens know to remain in their homes at night or carry pistols and knives for protection.
Abandoned during the frenzy of the Gold Rush, a seven-year-old girl struggles to survive in this hostile, lawless and unsanitary environment. Homeless and starving, Molly scavenges and begs for food, while trying to avoid the coppers, drunks and predatory street gangs. Her extraordinary intellect has enabled her to survive until now, but it will require all of her courage and a great deal of luck if she is to survive and prosper.