Boston blueblood Charlotte Vale has led an unhappy, sheltered life. Lonely, dowdy, repressed, and pushing 40, Charlotte finds salvation at a sanitarium, where she undergoes an emotional and physical transformation. After her extreme makeover, the new Charlotte tests her mettle by embarking on a cruise and finds herself in a torrid love affair with a married man which ends at the conclusion of the voyage. But only then can the real journey begin, as Charlotte is forced to navigate a new life for herself.
"The Inspiration for The Movie Classic"
Stella Dallas marries a rich young man but separates due to his demands that she change. She leaves with their daughter, Laurel, in search of a better life, which she devotes entirely to her daughter. One day, she takes Laurel to an upmarket resort where Laurel befriends some rich kids. Stella realises that for Laurel to have a better life she must send her daughter back to live with her father and his new wife.