A Fourth of July weekend in once wealthy, once fashionable Pruitt's Landing adds more than a firecracker or two to the lives of Mrs. Ames, her family and guests. For Paul brings exquisite but exacting Claire, Eleanor has Joe, Katherine is swooning over Manning Stone, a phony, and Bryan is still Mrs. Ames' favorite son, and banker. It takes Joe quite a while to learn there is no wealth behind the enormous Long Island home; it takes Katherine longer and many drinks later to wake up to Manning's false charm and to the greater worth of her cousin's fiance-to-be; Bryan is attracted to local Betty but loses out to Paul when Claire is shown up in a showdown. And all Mrs. Ames' worries are over when the house is burned to the ground. These domestic dithers are more graceless than gracious, more forced than familiar.