The Casting Away of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine is an adventure about the two widows, Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Aleshine who, after a lifetime of hard work on their farms, set out on what is supposed to be a relaxing retirement cruise to Japan. In mid-ocean, however, they are shipwrecked by a collision and cast ashore on a deserted island, like Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719). The characters are unflappable in the face of disaster and deprivation. They respond to the demands of their island sojourn with a renewed determination to maintain proper moral conduct. They apply lifelong habits of diligence and ingenuity to each new situation and solve the most outrageous crises with everyday skills and common sense.
At first their traveling companion and fellow survivor, suave young Mr. Craig, is amused at what he feels is their inappropriate response to situations, but gradually, Mr. Craig comes to admire their pluck and persistence.
Together with another small group of survivors, the castaways re-create on the island a replica of late nineteenth-century America. They emerge buoyant with optimism, confident in their accomplishments, and secure in their sense of the triumph of morality and proper behavior over untamed nature.