"After the Dancing Days" takes place in Kansas City at the end of WWI. It describes a family's efforts to cope with the impact of the war and come to terms with its aftermath. The main character Annie has been protected from much of the war's impact by her mother while her father, a doctor, was away during the war. After the war, her father returns but her mother has lost a brother, Annie's uncle, to the war. Though her mother wishes that Annie remain protected from the details of the war, her father and grandfather allow her to accompany them to the hospital where she learns firsthand how much the war can change people and families. She meets and befriends a wounded, disfigured soldier but her mother is uncomfortable with the friendship and forbids Annie from continuing to see him. When Annie's mom must leave town to take care of her father, Annie's grandfather, Annie disobeys her mother and returns to the hospital to see her wounded soldier friend. As they continue to talk, Annie learns much more about the war, heroes and life. She grows up over the course of the book. Eventually, her parents agree that she can continue to see her wounded soldier friend. Annie and her soldier friend Andrew help each other to grow and recover from the pain of the war throughout the story.