It's the fall of 1917, and the people in Canela, Texas are shocked when Carolyn Wentworth, believed to be nothing more than a beautiful social butterfly, volunteers to go to France as a nurse's aid. She'll be back in a month, they predict. But there's more to Carolyn than anyone realizes. Though she's appalled by the conditions in the hospital, she will not admit that her impulsive decision may have been the biggest mistake of her life. Instead, she sets out to prove that humor can heal. To the patients' amusement, she even resorts to wearing a clothespin on her nose when she empties bedpans, and she sees nothing wrong with dancing in the rain.
Clothespin Carolyn, as she's soon named, is a hit with the soldiers, much to the annoyance of Dwight Hollins, a brilliant physician who the nurses are convinced has never learned to smile. Doesn't Carolyn understand that war is serious? Someone needs to tell her that, and that someone is Dwight.
Carolyn and Dwight's sparring soon becomes the talk of the hospital - causing the patients to accuse them of being like an old married couple. They're wrong, of course. "Love" is not a word that applies to them until the day Carolyn impulsively promises that she and Dwight will dance on Christmas Day to entertain the patients. Though it's the last thing either of them intends, soon they're learning much more than the latest dance steps.