The Conroys are no ordinary family. For a start, they don't have a television. Nor are they allowed to keep pets. And Mr and Mrs Conroy never take their daughters - Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe - on holiday.
But then Mr and Mrs Conroy inherit GBP5000, and, to their daughters' dismay, decide to spend it redecorating the house over the summer. So the girls are packed off to Big Grandma's house for the holidays, where lots of chores and horribly long walks await them.
At first it seems as though Big Grandma is determined to put a stop to any fun. But, being Conroys, the girls soon find novel ways to entertain themselves, and start having as many adventures and mishaps as usual . . . and after a while, even Big Grandma doesn't seem so bad . . .