“Cornelia gasped and hurried in to shut herself and her misery away from the world. Was this what they had come to?”
When interior decorating student Cornelia Copely boards the train, leaving her college life behind to head home to her family, she expects to return to the familiar. What she finds—a shabby house, an absent and ailing mother, a family on the verge of destitution—reveals that much has changed in her absence and threatens to end any chances of pursuing her education further.
Worse yet, Cornelia’s older brother, Carey, has become reckless, returning home drunk in the middle of the night and associating with a disreputable crowd led by Clytie Dodd. Cornelia vows to repair her broken family, but it isn’t easy—it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.
Just as Cornelia’s plans begin to look bleak, a wealthy young gentleman shows surprising interest in Cornelia’s family and offers unexpected but welcomed help. Arthur Maxwell soon becomes Cornelia’s saving grace. . .but for Carey, it may already be too late.