On a stormy night, five school children on a school trip stay in Harwick Hall. They come across Richard Clayton's journal entitled : My Story-Read and Weep. Richard wrote about his life story. His happy family days end when his father passes away and his mother marries Mr Coldstone. Richard does not get along with his stepfather and he feels like a stranger in his own home. Nobody seems to understand his feelings of dislike for his stepfather. When he could not take it anymore,Richard runs away to sea. He returns to his estate home after his mother and sister's deaths but he does not stay on.
The five children feel a common link with Richard in that they are all from broken homes. Each one of them takes turn to tell his or her own family story. They come from divorced families and have to deal with stepmothers,step-siblings and half-siblings. Each one of them deals with his or her own situation in his or her own way.