The slightly depressing story of Alex Brainerd, who returns to her family after 15 years away, expecting to find Dick Stutfield waiting for her. She is jilted, and goes back to her Grandmother in Washington state, where she had lived as a child. Unhappy and lonely, she strives to break the family tradition -- to forget that she must expect respect because of her family's position -- and to build a life without Dick. The happy ending comes when she falls in love with the earnest young liberal editor of the local paper, who has taken issue with the materialistic Brainerd interests. Tragedy and eventual uplift, as Alex struggles through to a vision of the larger proportions of the world. The war gives the old story a new slant for romance and a happy ending the hard way.