A quiet town in the state of Washington is the background for the loves, marriages and fortunes of some assorted citizens shown in their youth, early maturity and middle age. Interrelated plots are woven by time and chance, with an ample assist from more human factors. Unambitious Chris Barlow marries Ann Saxon, whose probable suicide helps make him the responsible character Ann wondered if he could be. Ann's best friend Philippa wrecks her life outwardly by marrying a dull historian, but grows inwardly to a mature acceptance not unrelated to wisdom. Pete Malleck, likable and aggressive, loses his girl, a movie cashier, to a wealthier cousin, but rises slowly from hard luck to security and love. His unappealing sister Stella is seduced, shotgun ""married"" and deserted. And there are other scandals and surprises to complete a story which for all its drama is told quietly. Better at normality than at eccentricity, at niceness than at nastiness, this shows no pretensions in its middle-of-the-road view of humanity and is angled at a woman's audience, predominantly rental.