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Mirrie accepts an invitation to visit Alison North at the boarding house where they both lived when they were younger. Aware of her ageing body, Mirrie is envious of Alison, who has never married and is as beautiful as ever. However, Alison has her own regrets and Mirrie learns what happened between Alison and Don Hartman, the man Alison was expected to marry.
After a quarrel with her husband, John, Marcia is determined to reject married life. She flees to her newly-married young friend, Ada, only to discover she too has quarrelled with her husband, Ron, and is also planning to run away.
Allie Crosland is coming home for Christmas for the first time in twelve years. Accompanied by her husband and two children, she is anxious not to overwhelm her farming family with her wealth and status. She tries hard to appear the girl she was when she went away, but her well-meaning attempt to put her family at ease has unexpected consequences.
Mrs Baker's husband dies two hours before her thirteenth child is born. All the neighbours, except the irascible Mrs North, rally round to help the widow. Mrs Baker's brother offers her accommodation on his farm, but at first can only take Mrs Baker and her two youngest children. He appeals to the neighbours to take the other eleven children for a fortnight, but Mrs North is the only neighbour willing to assist.
John and Joan Librey return home after a party on Christmas Eve to find two policemen and a young man, whom the police say was trying to rob them. The man claims he was trying to rescue a cat he heard crying, but the police do not believe him. John offers to pay his bail, but his motives are not as altruistic as they appear.