Virginia 'Rusty' Dickinson (Hayley Carr) left England during World War II and she's coming Back Home in 1945. During the war she lived in a foster family and in this way absorbed the American culture. She discovers that her family's situation is very different than it was before the war. She meets her mother, Peggy Dickinson (Hayley Mills), her new 5-years-old brother, Charlie. As Rusty returns, her father, Roger Dickinson (Rupert Frazer) is still stationed as a soldier in Burma. When Japan surrenders he comes back home. His old-fashioned behavior and nature makes him be unhappy with his modern self-sufficient wife, his Americanised daughter and especially with Charlie's dislike of his "new" father. Next, Rusty is sent to boarding school. As she is used to am American school, she finds the teachers and the other pupils very strict. The school's atmosphere makes her suffer and the other pupils are mocking her for being an American.
In 2001, a feature film was also made.