France, 1915. With her sons Constant and Georges fighting in the Great War, Hortense and her daughter Solange have to hold down the farm and take care of the crops on their own. Needing help, the elderly widow hires Francine, a young woman who was raised an orphan. The three women work effectively side-by-side, with few words. Their routine is accompanied by news of the war and, after they receive word that Constant has been killed, Georges returns briefly on leave. Georges is immediately smitten with Francine, and when he has to go back to the front, their correspondence strengthens their feelings for each other. However, their relationship brings despair to a local girl, Marguerite, who was unofficially promised to Georges.