Interrelated one-act plays portray a young woman entering womanhood in rural New Jersey during the early 1930's. In Valley of Tears, Molly Farrell finds that her father is missing and her mother is drunk. When young Bill Dunphy drops by, sparks of love ignite between these two teenagers. In Glory Be, Bill Jr. is seen in the masculine atmosphere of his father's saloon, where he handles the patrons and settles an employee problem with his fists. The evening concludes with Joyous Strain, in which Molly takes charge of her life, buries her father, cares for her younger brother and becomes an adult in her struggling mother's eyes. Molly's dramatic journey ends optimistically with the promise of a job at the phone company.