In this sweet-and-soggy tale, circa 1905-25, a girl from a small mining-town in northwest Wales finds happiness, misery, and new beginnings. Megan Roberts, only daughter of gentle miner Owen and his worn-out wraith of a wife, is the family's Glad Girl--determinedly finding, at 13, cheer and joy in a Christmas of poverty, sleet, and general misery. But this is to be Megan's last Christmas at home: she's soon sent into service at the palatial digs of Mrs. Pughe-Morgan--who's attractive, intelligent, estranged from her ever-absent husband, and quickly captivated by Megan's charm and good mind. Has Megan lucked out? So it seems: even her enemy, horrid housekeeper Mrs. Foskett, becomes Megan's ally--and spills out unsavory details of her past--after the girl saves her life. Moreover, Mrs. Pughe-Morgan supervises an educational program (centering on the liberal arts) for Megan--who becomes confidant and companion to Mrs. P-M, realizing that she isn't ""quite her family's shape anymore."" (""Stick with your own kind,"" warns angry brother George.) And eventually, via Mrs. P-M's do-gooding passion, Megan meets miner's son Alun Rees, who's studying for Teacher's College. It's love! And an engagement! But then Alun dies in the Great War, leaving Megan preggers; baby Bronwen is born; Mrs. P-M is supportive. So finally, after nursing training and tragedy, Megan will have to make a painful choice--between love and service in medicine. Milk toast.