Getting beyond our own needs,” a close friend tells Charles Dickens, “takes thought and effort and, above all, an unselfish heart.” The timely advice is given as the author struggles to write, only for profit. Unfortunately, his desire for financial security only fuels his own fears and self-pity. When his soul-searching leads him into peril, he receives unexpected help from a young girl. Hauntingly, her life mirrors his own childhood. Though the strange events she reveals to Dickens, she reawakens in him a desire to refocus his priorities. But he runs into a wall built upon his own painful memories of a childhood marred by debtors prison. He wants desperately to solve the plight of child labor but doesn’t know how. Unless he can discover the healing power of a simple act of charity, his dream of truly making a difference is as dead as a doornail.