Abandoned outside a hospital, baby Rebecca didn't have a good start in life. She's soon adopted, but her new father can't warm to her, and her mother can't succeed in turning the plain, unresponsive child into the little princess she longs for. When Rebecca's adoptive mother dies, her greedy aunt and crooked uncle take her in but theirs is not a happy home. Separated from her brother, and left to fend for herself, soon Rebecca's life is worse than ever. Withdrawing from the people around her, she longs to escape to the circus that visits her town, with its carefree life and freedom from the past - but will she ever find happiness?