This heavy-duty literary drama is about the burdens faced by one family during the end of the Great Depression in the late 1930s and is based on a novel by Gabrielle Roy. The oldest daughter in the family works in a diner to help make ends meet, giving her paycheck to her mother and keeping her tips for herself. After a few encounters with a fast-talking womanizer at the diner she spends one night with him and ends up pregnant and abandoned. At the same time or in short succession, her father loses his job, they move to a miserable, damp location, and the youngest brother contracts tuberculosis -- numerous tragedies that ultimately stem from poverty. The pregnant daughter connives to get engaged to a decent, shy young man who then goes off to war. But because of their engagement, the daughter now has access to a new and large house, and in spite of everything, the family's fortunes may be improving a little.
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