The first novel "Old Mortality" is divided in three parts. In the first part we hear about two girls Maria and Miranda learning about their dead aunt Amy through letters, poems and stories told by their grandmother. Amy was raised to be a proper woman in a society where women had few rights.
In the second part Maria and Miranda are staying at a convent, where they are raised to become real ladies. Their knowledge and information is filtered, so they cannot see the world with their own eyes. They do not get out of the convent very often, only when they have behaved well and their father comes to take them out for a day.
In the third part we only hear about Miranda. We learn that she has escaped from the convent and is now married. She is going to her Uncle Gabriel's funeral, Amy's husband. On the way she meets her cousin Eva who fights for women's rights and the right for women to vote. After the funeral we learn that Miranda no longer wants to be a part of the family. She has finally escaped.
The second novel "Noon Wine" is about a family living on a farm; a man, woman and their two sons. Their economy is bad, the machinery is broken and the woman in the house, Miss Thompson is ill. One day a man walks by the farm and asks for a job. His name is Mr. Helton and he is determined to work hard for a low wage. Mr. Thompson the man on the farm hires him and lets him stay in a shack. Mr. Helton manages to increase the production on the farm and reduce the waste. Mr. Helton saves the farm and keeps it running for nine years. Then a man, called Mr. Hatch, turns up at the farm claiming that Mr. Helton is a lunatic who killed his own brother over a harmonica. Mr. Hatch wants to take Mr. Helton with him back to North Dakota where he escaped from a lunatic asylum.
Mr. Thompson and Mr. Hatch end up arguing and Mr. Thompson kills him. Mr. Helton runs away but is caught and later dies of injuries he suffered during his capture. Mr. Thompson claims it was self-defense, but nobody believes his story, neither the neighbors nor his family. In the end he shoots himself to prove he is innocent.
The third novel "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" is about Miranda, a pacifist working as a theatre critic during World War 1 and the influenza epidemic in 1918. Through the novel we hear about several dreams and nightmares she is having about death and running away from everything. Miranda has a hard time dealing with the war and the things going on. She is in a relationship with Adam who she takes to the shows she is reviewing.