Daniela has a shameful secret. She can’t write and tries to hide it. She’s clever and has taught herself to be tough, but things at school go from bad to worse and then she overhears another shameful secret. It’s about her mother who goes out dancing in the red light district. Set in multicultural inner-city Leeds during the time of the Yorkshire Ripper, Dani’s problems multiply as she struggles to keep her mother safe and stop her stepfather from leaving. Gradually, Dani learns that she can’t manage everything alone.
Daniela thinks that Daddy number one tried to kill her. Daddy number two was kind and she loved him, but he’s gone. Her family is falling apart and now there’s the prospect of a third father. Dani’s mother is besotted with a man from Papua New Guinea, but Dani has little sympathy. She is determined there will be no Daddy number three but she learns that she cannot always control what happens. With help from her friends, Dani finds ways to cope.