Tempest in a Teacup is the story of one man's journey from the hey-days of his youth to his acceptance of adulthood. Throughout the novel, set during the 1940s in rural southwestern Utah, Don Eliot struggles to resolve his aspirations for the future with the realities of life. He graduates from high school, World War II begins, and Don is selected to attend the U.S. Naval Officers Training Program at The University of Texas, Austin. However, the war ends before he is called up. Don's journey then threads its way to the avant-garde environs of Berkeley, California; there the young man continues his pursuit of higher education. But, the call of his hometown, Dixon, harkens louder, stronger.