The narrator tells a story about her vacation on a beach, focusing on a little girl’s relationship with her young mother and the mother’s adultery.
A mother tells a story about her friend to help revise her daughters’ conception of the label “old maid.”
The narrator is encouraged to abandon fiction and to write about real life, and tells the stories of two village women who passed in the previous year.
A sketch of the narrator's trip by rail to visit the planned manufacturing town of Manchester, New Hampshire.
The narrator tells the story of Emily Winthrop and her journey from wife to widow and bereavement to peace.