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Summary This chapter is filled with an accounting of many small changes in Francie's immediate and extended family. Still eager to learn new things, Francie enrolls in sewing and dancing classes in the evenings. Evy and Flittman have to move because the neighbors have complained about him playing the drums. Sissy shows her maturity by taking out education policies on her two children, insuring that they will be able to attend college. Neeley is also maturing and has begun to date different girls; Francie disapproves of most of them.
One day while looking for a nickel in Francie's box, Katie is shocked to come across a pack of cigarettes and approaches her daughter about them. Francie admits that she has tried smoking but did not like it. Francie also tells Katie that she misses Ben and asks her mother's advice about writing him a letter. Katie encourages her daughter to write the letter, explaining that she still misses her husband, and wishes she could write to Johnny.
As Christmas approaches, all is well with the Nolans in spite of the war. Katie even decides she can afford to give a roasted chicken, a cake, and some coffee to the Tynmore sisters, for nobody takes lessons from them now and they are struggling without money.
In this chapter, the author quickly summarizes some of the events of 1917 for Francie and her family. In the background, there is always the presence of World War I, with changes in the street names and products to reference the war effort. Francie and Neeley are growing up, as shown in Neeley's dating different girls and Francie tying out cigarettes. Evy and Flittman have to move because of his drumming, and Sissy, delighted to have children, prepares for their future.
Francie tells her mother that she still misses Ben, and Katie admits that she still misses Johnny. When she asks her mother about writing to Ben, Katie encourages her daughter, telling her, "If ever you find a man you love, don't waste time hanging your head and simpering; go right up to him and say I love you."