Christine, who once enjoyed a comfortable middle-class existence, finds herself reduced to poverty and forced to work as a low-ranking official in the local post office.
Then one day, out of the blue, a telegram arrives from her rich American aunt.
A silk dress, a new hairstyle and make-up transform poor, shy Christine into a beautiful, confident young woman.
A new life, full of possibilities, seems to beckon.
Christine's new-found happiness is ruined when a jealous rival spreads gossip, but she finds a friend in an unexpected quarter.
Christine and Ferdinand grow closer but their hopes and plans are constantly curtailed by a lack of money.
As their resources finally run out, Christine and Ferdinand are faced with two desperate choices.