Back in New Bedford, Hub’s mother, Honey Sutton, is following in her son’s footsteps and is also a University of Toronto student. She is taking courses by correspondence, although she would rather take classes in person in Toronto. Honey’s husband, Max, has to take over many of the household duties because of Honey’s busy schedule, this in addition to his regular work as the school’s principal and the town mayor.
Even this year’s Christmas pageant, which is being directed by May’s daughter-in-law, Toppy Bailey, was written by science teacher, Jim Flett. Hub’s brother, Fat, also has a career in mind, that of a RCMP officer. He wants to leave high school to enter the force. Even without Hub present, Fat is feeling like he is living in the shadow of his older “perfect” brother. Hub while studying to be a Catholic priest, may be reconsidering his stated vocation when he meets Austrian exchange student, Anna Schiller, a cellist in the music program.
Hub and Anna met in an anti-fascist political group on campus. Hub decides to bring Anna to New Bedford for the Christmas holidays, which bring chaos to the house. Both Maisey and Honey don’t much like what Anna symbolizes in Hub’s life, for Maisey a rival, and for Honey someone who is taking him away from his vocation. In addition, RCMP Inspector Wells is after Anna, which places a wedge between brothers Hub and Fat. By Christmas Day, the future lives of all involved are much clearer.