The action takes place in Glorious Hill, Mississippi, shortly before the First World War. Alma Winemiller, a sensitive and lonely young woman, has become increasingly restive and disturbed by the fear that she will remain a spinster. Hemmed in by her stern minister father, and her deranged mother, she makes a final, and almost desperate attempt to win the man of her choice-a young doctor whose social-climbing mother frowns on his attachment to Alma. the play centers on the complex relationship between these two; her touching attempts to sway his emotions; and his uncertainty as to where his heart should lead him. In the end there is to be only one truly beautiful moment between them-for neither can break the ties of family and position which draw them apart and which, inevitably, defeat Alma's hopes for a new and fuller life.