Living on a rough housing estate in the UK with her heroin addict mother and younger brother Jon, Kerrie-Ann has never known her father but is constantly introduced to a series of ‘uncles’ - one of whom sends her out to sell drugs.
As a young child Kerrie-Ann Hill makes friends with her rather bizarre neighbour who has some unusual and life changing lessons to teach her. Mrs Ivanovich collects butterflies and carefully shows Kerrie-Ann how to collect, look after and even kill the winged creatures. The old lady dies, but Kerrie-Ann is left with a different perspective, and a vision of the world outside the estate on which she lives. She longs for escape.
At 15, Kerrie-Ann is abandoned by her mother and left to look after Jon. The only person there for her is Mark, her most trusted friend. Together they ride the euphoric highs of the 90s rave scene. But almost as soon as the feelings between Kerrie-Ann and Mark develop into real love, Mark has moved on to stronger drugs. He is regularly taking both heroin and crack cocaine, and his personality is changing.
Kerrie-Ann knows that to survive she will need to make use of everything Mrs Ivanovich had taught her all those years ago but it proves increasingly difficult to let go of the person she loves more than anyone else in her world.